Both the United States Constitution and the Ohio Constitution allow federal, state and local governments to take privately owned property and appropriate it for public use. The ability to use this power of eminent domain has also been extended to certain types of private companies, including railroads and utilities. Under both federal and state law the entity appropriating the private property (also known as the “condemning authority”) must be taking the land for a public purpose. The Fifth Amendment U.S. Constitution and Section 1.19 of the Ohio Constitution require that the property owner receive fair compensation for the land being taken and for any damage to the remainder of the property (also called the “residue”) resulting from the appropriation.
For more than 40 years Barkan & Robon, Ltd. has worked to provide aggressive representation to property owners across Ohio in eminent domain actions initiated by state, local, and federal governments, as well as by the Ohio Department of Transportation, and utility companies. Regardless of the appropriating authority, the attorneys at Barkan & Robon, Ltd. work tirelessly to ensure that our clients receive full value of the land taken and any damage to remaining property. Some of our most recent verdicts and settlements in eminent domain cases include:
• Toledo Edison Co., et al. vs. James M. Voland, Trustee; Wood County Common Pleas Case No. PC020149004A-Following a week-long trial in December 2014, the jury returned a verdict of $1,000,000 to the property owners and increase of more than $900,000 over the offer made by the utility company.
• Board of Lucas County Commissioners vs. The Roach Group, Ltd., et al.; Lucas County Common Pleas Case No. CI201303632-Lucas County made an initial offer of $370,000.00. Case was ultimately settled in May 2014 for more than $675,000.00 plus additional land tothe property owner.
• Ohio Gas Company vs. Evelyn Keil-Lase settled in 2012 for a multiple of the initial offer
made by the utility company.
Eminent domain cases are highly complex as every appropriation action and the property being affected are different. Further complicating these cases is the fact that oftentimes the entity seeking the appropriation will try to pressure the property owner to quickly accept payment for the land taken without first considering the true value of the land and the effect that the appropriation will have on the remainder of the property. If you have been threatened with an eminent domain action or have been approached about selling your land to a government entity or utility, representation by experienced and aggressive counsel is critical to ensure that you receive the full, fair, and just compensation to which you are entitled.
If you or someone you know has been threatened with an eminent domain action, you need an attorney who understands your rights and will act aggressively to protect your interests. The attorneys at Barkan & Robon, Ltd. are available to speak with you at no cost to discuss your case and your options.