Eminent domain is the power of governmental authorities to acquire property for a public purpose over the private property owner's objection. Governmental authorities exercise the power of eminent domain by a proceeding referred to as condemnation. In a condemnation proceeding by a Texas governmental authority, the governmental authority is required to pay the property owner the fair value of the property taken in condemnation and any damages resulting to the property owner's remaining property. If the property owner disagrees with the governmental authority's assessment of fair value, then the property owner can ultimately compel that the matter of fair value and damages be determined by a jury. Unfortunately, the courts do not consider as compensable all things which a property owner may consider as damages to his remaining property. Impairment of access to a roadway is often a hotly contested subject of compensation.
It requires a complete understanding of the law and procedures related to eminent domain / condemnation proceedings and a detailed understanding of appraisal techniques and procedures to maximize the amount paid by the governmental authority to a property owner. Having handled numerous eminent domain/condemnation cases for governmental authorities and property owners, Foster and East understand the tactics and strategies employed by governmental authorities and those that best suit the property owners. The experience of Foster and East in eminent domain / condemnation procedures affords to property owners the ability to understand and assess the property interest being taken by the governmental authority and the compensation to which the property owner is entitled under the law. Unless the property owners have been engaged in eminent domain / condemnation proceedings previously they are generally at a substantial disadvantage in dealing with governmental authorities and their right-of-way agents. Hiring knowledgeable eminent domain / condemnation attorneys such as Foster and East levels the playing field.
Governmental authorities do not always accept responsibility for damages to private property. Governmental authorities' public works often damage private property adjacent to the public works as a result of flooding, erosion, deposit of sediment, settlement and many other things. Under many circumstances, such damage is compensable and the property owner may bring an inverse condemnation action against the governmental authority for the property owner's damages. To determine whether a governmental authority is subject to an inverse condemnation claim requires an up-to-date knowledge of applicable law which is provided by Foster and East.