Eminent Domain/Condemnation Law

Private Sector

Obtaining the Just and Adequate Compensation Our Clients Deserve.

Just as there are always two sides to any story, in Eminent Domain cases there are always two competing interests: those of the private property owner and those of government seeking to take private property for public benefit. At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., we are equipped to handle both. We are committed to obtaining just and fair results in condemnation cases—no matter who we represent*.

* We do not take cases against the Georgia Department of Transportation and we review all cases prior to accepting them for any potential conflict of interest.

Eminent Domain/Condemnation cases are complex actions. Often, people are unaware of what an Eminent Domain proceeding is. They also confuse the legal terms that apply in these types of cases. Distilled to its most basic foundation, “Eminent Domain” is the legal term used to describe the government’s power to take private property for public use. Because the government has the power to “condemn” property —for public projects or to protect the public health or safety—these cases are also frequently referred to as “condemnation” cases.

The government’s power of eminent domain applies to residential as well as commercial properties. It extends beyond the federal government to local state, city and county governments as well as to governmental agencies like the Georgia Department of Transportation (“GADOT”) (More on that below.)  Private corporations such as oil and gas companies, railroads or redevelopment authorities may also be granted eminent domain power to complete certain projects benefiting the public.

Understanding the Power of Eminent Domain.

One of the most common uses of the Eminent Domain power is to construct or repair infrastructure. So, for example, the government might appropriate private property in order to widen a road or build a school or other project for the public benefit. Another common use of the power to protect the public health, safety, or welfare. In these types of cases, the government may condemn private property that poses a danger to the public’s health, safety or welfare.

Key to the government’s use of the Eminent Domain power is that the taking of private property must be for the public benefit.

Another critical aspect of the exercise of the power of Eminent Domain concerns paying for the property taken. Before the government can take a person’s private property, it must pay the property owner. This applies to either the entire parcel or to any part of it that is damaged as a result of the government’s project. Both the federal Constitution and the Georgia State Constitution prohibit the government from taking private property unless it is for a public use, and unless the property owner is paid “just compensation.” (In Georgia, it must be “just and adequate” compensation.)

In Eminent Domain/Condemnation proceedings, whether a project is truly for the “public benefit” (as opposed to benefit private parties), and whether the compensation offered to the private landowner is truly “just and adequate” (as opposed to market value or a low-ball price) are hotbeds of contention. At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., we know when the power of eminent domain can be successfully challenged, and we know how to value property. We not only understand the vast difference between market value and a property’s “highest and best use”— we know how to prove it. We fight hard to get our condemnation clients the best possible value for their property.

Take a Look at Some of the Results We Have Obtained for Our Clients.

Our track record in obtaining higher settlement awards for our clients facing eminent domain/condemnation proceedings is significant. The following is a selection of some of the awards we have obtained for our Georgia clients* in the more than 20 years we have been practicing in this area.

Forsyth County

Sharon Rd Project
Initial Offer: Actual settlement
$63,700.00 $82,300.00
$2,700.00 $7,500.00
$90,515.00 $113,441.25
$12,900.00 $33,000.00
Brookwood Rd and Old Atlanta Rd. Project
Initial Offer: Actual settlement
$2,700.00 $12,500.00
$8,800.00 $18,469.00
$12,200.00 $30,000.00
$19,360.00 $33,000.00
$13,665.00 $28,000.00
Mullinax/Union Hill Project
Initial Offer: Actual settlement
$44,579.00 $80,000.00
$2,368.00 $8,372.00
$0 (County claimed the property owner agreed to ‘donate’ the property pursuant to a zoning condition) $200,000
Old Atlanta Phase II Project
Initial Offer: Actual settlement
$24,675.00 $42,735.00
$4,432.00 $15,000.00
$2,500.00 $7,350.00
$12,625.00 $14,500
$1,991.00 $9,000.00
$5,729.00 $22,615.00
Cobb County
2014 Cheatham Hill Rd Project
Initial Offer: Actual settlement
$611.00 $3,500.00

*Cases other than those against GADOT

Don’t Risk Losing Your Property for Less Than Its Highest Value. Contact Us Today.

Eminent Domain/Condemnation law is a specialized area of law. There are many legal principles and unique factors that can arise in a condemnation case that can affect the value of the property. It is also important to know, understand, and follow, the specific legal and procedural rules precisely.

Having an advocate on your side who has a comprehensive understanding of how government regulators think, and their policies and rules, is a significant advantage. Because these cases are so complex, it is never a good idea to try to negotiate matters on your own. If you are facing condemnation proceedings, you should have experienced Eminent Domain/Condemnation counsel at your side.

At the Law Offices of Mark Weinstein, P.C., we are skilled and experienced in every aspect of Eminent Domain law. We know how to get the maximum compensation possible for our clients. If you are facing a condemnation proceeding, we encourage you to reach out to us to learn more about our practice and what we can do to help you. Contact us online or call us at 770-888-7707 to set up a consultation with one of our Eminent Domain/Condemnation attorneys.
Public Sector

Working with Government to Promote Public Health, Safety and Welfare.

When the Department of Law of the State of Georgia needs specialized

legal expertise, it retains Special Assistant Attorney Generals (“SAAGs”). All SAGGS working for the Department of Law are committed to providing the highest quality legal services in the most cost-effective manner. Each one represents the State with integrity, professionalism, and a sense of urgency in resolving legal problems.

Since 2001, Mark Weinstein has represented the Georgia Department of Transportation (“GADOT”) as a SAGG handling Eminent Domain/Condemnation projects. As in all his legal work, Mark’s representation on behalf of the GADOT meets the highest ethical standards. While condemnation cases often lend themselves to intense conflict and can negatively affect public confidence, as a SAAG, Mark strives to achieve a fair and just result for his client while safeguarding the public’s interests.

It’s not easy to find an Eminent Domain/Condemnation Law attorney who understands the practice from both the side of the private property owner and the condemning authority. Mark Weinstein’s extensive experience in this area qualifies him to assist local government agencies in Georgia in a range of matters.
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