Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain occurs when a government entity takes private property rights for the benefit of the public. Examples of this are when a governmental body takes privately held property to extend a municipal airport’s runway; or build a highway over what was private property but is now taken into public ownership. When the government takes these private property rights, it must pay the property owner the fair value of the private rights taken.

A twist alternative to eminent domain, is when the government passes regulations which effect private property rights to essentially render them valueless and this too will be considered a “taking”. In the Barnstable Superior Court matter of Smyth v. Town of Falmouth, Attorney Seth Roman successfully convinced a jury that the Town of Falmouth, Massachusetts had rendered his client’s property, a waterfront lot, unbuildable by passing conservation regulations that resulted in the inability to use the property for the construction of a residence. The jury awarded the Plaintiff $640,000.00 representing the difference between the property value if buildable and the property value of it being unbuildable due to the regulations passed by the Town.

If your property has been rendered less valuable due to regulations or a taking by a governmental agency, contact Attorney Seth Roman who will be able to assist you in obtaining fair compensation for your loss.