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Understanding the government's use of eminent domain

Eminent domain is the process by which the government in Arizona and elsewhere can take over a person's real estate. The property must only be taken for public use and the property owner must be compensated accordingly. Eminent domain typically occurs when a government is planning to improve or expand public utilities or roadways and needs parcels of real estate to complete their projects.

After the government has determined how much it thinks a piece of property is worth, it will offer compensation to the landowner. At this point, the owner can either agree to the price or reject the offer. Upon a rejection, the matter will likely become more complicated as it moves into what is called condemnation proceedings.

In most cases, the owner may reject the offer because he or she disagrees with the government about how much the real estate is worth. In order to prove such a claim, the landowner will benefit from professional assistance from a property appraiser and a real estate attorney. The appraiser will work to uncover the true value of the property while the attorney will make sure the property owner's rights remain protected at all times.

It is difficult to defeat a government that is intent on taking control of your private property. However, it is not an impossible endeavor, especially if you take measures to find a good legal team to champion your side of the matter. While the government does have a lot of leeway in real estate issues like eminent domain, it is still bound by certain laws just like other entities and individuals in the United States.

Source: FindLaw, "How the Government Takes Property," accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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