This website is sponsored by a partnership of experienced condemnation attorneys, with a practice limited to Texas. It is intended to provide information to the public regarding Eminent Domain, condemnation and Texas highway right-of-way and related government acquisition issues - such as the use of Eminent Domain power to the benefit of private toll road companies or transmission line developers. We earnestly invite your comments and questions or suggested links.

Landowners or owner's representative, a tenant, a real estate broker, or an attorney who specializes in areas of law other than condemnation, are encouraged to call to discuss your situation in person with an experienced Texas condemnation lawyer.

This site has links to information on several common topics of inquiry as a public service. Feel free to call with your specific questions or suggestions.

Information on the following is included:

  1. What is Eminent Domain?
  2. The Condemnation Process
  3. What Property Owners Should Know
  4. Trans Texas Corridor / North Tarrant Expressway
  5. Property Owner’s Rights
  6. Valuation
  7. Inverse Condemnation
  8. Land Use & Zoning
  9. Fair Compensation
  10. High Voltage Transmission Lines and Pipeline Easements
  11. Resource Links

What is Eminent Domain?

Eminent Domain is the inherent power of the government to take private property for the use and benefit of the public. Our Constitution and laws provide that just and adequate compensation be paid to someone whose property is needed for public use. The compensation to which a person is entitled is based on the value of the property taken and the diminution in value of the remaining property, if any, caused by the taking. An occupant may be entitled to additional compensation such as relocation assistance for residential or commercial properties that are no longer suitable for their use.

The Texas Condemnation (Eminent Domain) Process

The condemnation process is a specialized legal procedure designed to protect property owners and ensure fair compensation. The body of law is comprised of State and Federal Constitutional Law, the Texas Property Code, and a developing body of case law that, together, establish procedural and substantive rules for the valuation of property in a way that is different from typical real estate appraisal practices. In order to properly evaluate an offer received from the government or other Condemnor for your property, it is necessary to evaluate it within this specialized context. It is nearly impossible to properly evaluate a Condemnorís offer to buy or prepare for condemnation without the assistance of a knowledgeable condemnation attorney, the specifics of the project for which the property is condemned, and the characteristics of the property sought by the government.

While a property owner may be able to stop a taking, usually the State or local government has the right to take the property it seeks, if is for a public purpose. Privately owned companies may also have that power. Examples such as ONCOR, a high-voltage electricity transmission company, and numerous oil and gas transporters have been granted the power of Eminent Domain by the Legislature. Because of that legislative grant, these private companies are empowered to compel transfer of land to construct high-voltage transmission lines and oil or gas transmission pipelines.

However, the law provides protections for the property owner, if timely demanded. Among these protections and rights of a property owner is the right to be paid adequate and just compensation for the property sought by the government and the right to be paid damages for any decrease in value of the property owner’s remaining land and improvements caused by the compensable effects of the taking.

Condemnation is the legal process through which the government or certain approved companies can take or impair private property. Each owner has specific legal rights guaranteed by law. An offer from the government cannot be effectively evaluated without awareness of your entitlements and the condemnation procedure. A Texas condemnation attorney experienced in Eminent Domain matters can help you understand your options.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are my rights?
  • How does the condemnation process work?
  • Can I contest the government’s offer to purchase my property?
  • Can I get compensation for the damage done to my property not taken?
  • Should I hire a lawyer?
  • I lease space and I heard that my building will be affected by a government taking. Do I have any right to compensation?
  • What can I do to keep the government from taking my property?
  • Will a lease on the property affect a tenant (lessee) or landlord (lessor)?
  • Will all or part of my property be taken?
  • What are the impacts of view, existing elevations, future elevations, access, and driveway construction close to my building?
  • What if I own adjacent property?
  • What about economic damage to my remaining property or change in its use or potential caused by the condemnation or construction on the property condemned?
  • What type of damage to my property value is compensable?
  • Is loss of visibility compensable?
  • Are access problems compensable?
  • What if my view is blocked?
  • What is the impact on Outdoor Advertising signs?
  • Do I have to allow a pipeline on my land? 
  • Are high-voltage transmission lines (power lines) dangerous?

There are certain types of damage for which you may not, by law, receive compensation. Recognizing the compensable elements and information needed to establish them is of paramount importance. To find out more, contact Avant & Mitchell for a free initial consultation. We represent property owners throughout Texas. If you have questions about Eminent Domain and condemnation, or a specific project such as high-voltage transmission lines by ONCOR or other company, a gas pipeline, a toll way or road construction such as the North Tarrant Expressway Project, call us at 512-478-5757.

To find out more, contact Avant & Mitchell for a free initial consultation. We represent property owners throughout Texas. If you have questions about eminent domain and condemnation or a specific project such as high-voltage transmission line by ONCOR or other company, a gas pipeline, a tollway or road construction such as North Tarrant Expressway project, call us at 512-478-5757.

This Texas law firm maintains its principal office within blocks of the Capitol complex in Austin, Texas. Our attorneys have handled appraisal disputes, eminent domain and condemnation cases throughout the State of Texas including Austin, Aransas Pass, Atlanta, Athens, Bastrop, Beaumont, Belton, Big Spring, Boerne, Bonham, Boston, Brownsville, Brownwood, Childress, Clarksville, Conroe, Copperas Cove, Corpus Christi, Cuero, Dallas, Denton, Eastland, El Paso, Fairfield, Forney, Ft. Stockton, Ft. Worth, Georgetown, Grande Prairie, Houston, Jefferson, Katy, Lockhart, Longview, Lubbock, Marshall, Mount Pleasant, Paris, Port Aransas, San Angelo, San Antonio, Seguin, Sinton, South Padre, Stephenville, Sweetwater, Tyler, Waco, Weatherford, Wimberley, and surrounding areas that include properties along Texas State Highway 130 (toll road), State Highway 45 (toll road), IH 35, IH 10, IH 45, IH 20, US 59, US 71, US 290, US 183, Beltway 8, IH 30, Loop 820, SH 121, SH 114, the North Tarrant Expressway and transmission line cases similar to acquisitions by LCRA and ONCOR.