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Eminent domain vs. inverse condemnation

On Behalf of | Apr 17, 2024 | Eminent Domain, Inverse Condemnation

If the government wants to take your California home through an eminent domain claim, it must provide just compensation. However, in some cases, the government may owe you money based on actions that might rise to the level of an inverse condemnation.

The burden of proof

In an eminent domain case, the government acknowledges that it is taking your property to widen a road or build a park. Therefore, you don’t have to prove that you are entitled to compensation. However, in an inverse condemnation case, you must prove that a taking has occurred and that you are owed a financial award. Typically, the government will vigorously defend against your claim in an effort to prevent others in similar situations from filing such claims as well.

The inverse condemnation case process

First, a judge must determine that a taking has occurred. This will typically occur after a hearing where you will present evidence bolstering your claim that the government has infringed on your rights.

If the judge rules in your favor, a trial will take place, and the trial can be decided either by the judge overseeing your case or by a jury. Depending on the facts of the case, you may be entitled to actual damages as well as court costs and other expenses incurred throughout the legal process.

If the government takes actions that reduce your property’s value, you may need to take action quickly because a statute of limitation may apply that could impact whether you are allowed to proceed with your case. Typically, you’ll use evidence such as a home appraisal, statements from government officials or other records to prove that you are entitled to relief under the law.