EMINENT DOMAIN/CONDEMNATION

At our North Charleston law firm, condemnation lawyers help property owners recover just compensation when their land has been condemned for public works or for the benefit of a private developer. If the city, county, state, or federal government is threatening your home or business by exercising the power of eminent domain, attorney Trip Riesen can help. Mr. Riesen became involved in eminent domain law after his personal experience with the Town of Mount Pleasant when they decided to fill in a portion of his neighborhood’s lake to build a road.  Fortunately, after successfully negotiating with the Town and developers the road was re-routed away from his neighborhood’s lake [Attached are letters to the editor and articles in the local newspaper covering the event …1.Letter to Mayor2.Newspaper3.Article]  If a government agency is either physically taking your property or re-zoning or regulating your property which adversely effects the value of your property feel free to contact the Riesen Law Firm for a free consultation to discuss your situation and recommend a course of action.

Does the state have the right of eminent domain in this case? Is it paying fair compensation?
There are two questions to be answered in a case involving eminent domain: Has the government demonstrated that it has the authority to take the property? Is the government offering property owners a fair price (“Just Compensation”) for their land? Contact our office to arrange for a free consultation as soon as you are concerned.

Under the laws of South Carolina, condemnation has been used traditionally to clear land for public use to build roads, schools, public buildings, parks, and freeways. More recently, the US Supreme Court, in Kelo v. City of New London, has affirmed the use of eminent domain for commercial projects that directly benefit private developers. This does not, however, mean you have no legal rights when an issue arises. The government must demonstrate that the taking clearly benefits the general community, and must pay just compensation for the land.

Inverse condemnation: loss of value to your property caused by nearby projects.
Our attorneys also handle cases involving inverse condemnation, where a government action or regulation diminishes the value of privately held property. Examples might include the loss of business traffic to a gas station when a major road or freeway exit is rerouted, or a regulatory taking where the government has so heavily regulated the permissible uses of a specific piece of property as to make it unusable for any reasonable purpose. The seminal case on eminent domain in South Carolina is Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Commission, where the state Supreme Court sided with the property owner in finding that building restrictions for coastal properties amounted to an illegal taking of land value from the landowners.  So, if you feel that the government has regulated your property such that it has severely limited the use of your property feel free to contact the Riesen Law Firm to discuss your situation.