California law indicates that if a property owner does not agree to give up their property for government use they can object by challenging eminent domain. The property owner is entitled to a fair hearing and could receive a settlement depending on the judge’s ruling.
The government’s defense
The government is considered to have “eminent domain,” which means that they have the option of using any property for promoting government actions or programs. However, the government must provide the property owner with proper compensation and justify their reasons for wanting the seize the property. Property owners are protected by the Fifth Amendment and can take their case to court to challenge the government’s decision although this is not always an easy feat.
Notice of eminent domain
Even if the government is justified in seizing the property, the government entity is also required to notify the property owner in ample time for the landlord to make other arrangements. The notice must clearly state how the land will be used after the seizure. Before the government organization can exercise its rights of eminent domain, the organization has to engage in fair negotiations with the landlord and offer a fair market price for the property.
Hearings to determine necessity of taking
It is important to note that not all eminent domain hearings are identical. State laws will indicate the number and structure of the hearings.
Landlords also have the option to reject the settlement offer and contest the government seizure. It could take years for the court to approve the appeal. In some cases, the landlord will receive monetary damages instead.