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What is Inverse Condemnation?

Inverse Condemnation Attorneys in Missouri

Inverse condemnation is necessitated when the government takes private property or restricts/damages it to such an extent that its use is severely affected. In this case, the property owner may file an inverse condemnation case to request a more reasonable compensation or to eliminate restrictions that prevent full and optimum use of his property.

For example, the state takes the open space belonging to a primary school and builds an arterial highway across it. Compensation may be given to cover the fair market value of the property taken. However, the school may be able to claim that the presence of the highway in such close proximity has made it unsafe for children to come to school or leave it safely. Additionally, the noise and pollution arising from the vehicles plying on the highway may have made it impossible for the school to carry out its regular activities. In such a case, the school may be able to win compensation for additional damages under its constitutional right under inverse condemnation rules.

If your property has been damaged or its use restricted in this way, call the eminent domain lawyers at The Wallach Law Firm today to learn more about your rights and for a consultation of your case.

What Makes Inverse Condemnation Different

With inverse condemnation cases, it is the claimant who initiates action against the government’s acquisition of his property under eminent domain laws. Therefore, the property owner is the plaintiff and the government becomes the defendant.

When it comes to inverse condemnation, there are several complexities associated with determining whether the claimant has strong grounds for initiating action. In addition, the collection and presentation of verifiable facts supporting the claim and the litigation itself stand the best chance of being viewed favorably in court when a qualified and experienced attorney is handling the proceedings. At The Wallach Law Firm our attorneys have years of experience dealing with inverse condemnation cases. Our deep understanding of eminent domain laws help us offer effective, practical, and viable legal solutions to each of our clients.

Understanding the Facets of Inverse Condemnation

A property owner can file a claim under inverse condemnation in one of several different situations. Because there are several facets to inverse condemnation cases, it is difficult for the layman to fully comprehend when his rights have been violated, what can be done about it, and how go about obtaining justice.

Some of the different circumstances where inverse condemnation may apply include:

Regulatory Takings: The most commonly occurring inverse condemnation situations come about when the government (or its agency) passes regulations that restrict the property owner’s use of their land/property. For the owner to successfully claim inverse condemnation the regulation should either:

  • Prevent practical use of the property
  • Significantly change the way he can use it
  • Significantly reduce the value of the property

The Supreme Court has outlined two tests - the Lucas test and the Penn test, to verify if and to what extent the claimant has suffered as a result of the government’s acquisition of his property under eminent domain laws.

Unreasonable Restriction on Development - Although very similar to regulatory takings, unreasonable development restrictions can be claimed by property owners when restrictions prevent them from making the best use of their property. In some situations, development of any kind may be prevented by means of withholding permits or refusing zoning changes when the owner requests them. The owner can claim compensation by filing an inverse condemnation case stating that he has suffered a loss of value to his property as a result of such restrictions.

Physical Takings - In a few cases, the government or its agency may take possession of a private party’s property without providing just compensation or instituting the correct eminent domain procedures. This gives the property owner clear and strong grounds to take action claiming inverse condemnation of his property.

Contact The Wallach Law Firm Today to Review your Inverse Condemnation Case

If you believe that you have grounds to establish an inverse condemnation case, The Wallach Law Firm attorneys can help you understand more about inverse condemnation cases and your rights. Contact us today at 314-997-4050 to learn how you can get fair compensation for your property which has been damaged or wrongfully acquired by the government.

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