Important 30-Day Time Period in Eminent Domain Actions
Important 30-day Period in Eminent Domain Actions
Once a Declaration of Taking (D/T) is filed against your property there is an important 30-day period that begins to run. A property owner must within the 30-day period file any objections to the taking with the Court. Failure to raise objection within this period constitutes a waiver of any objections and could have a significant impact on the damages a property owner receives. It is essential that an experienced condemnation attorney review the D/T well before the 30-day period expires.
In order to properly object to the D/T, preliminary objections must be filed. Preliminary objections are the only method of challenging certain aspects of a D/T. All objections must be filed at the same time in one pleading and are waived if not raised. Preliminary objections are filed to challenge, 1, the power or right of the condemnor to appropriate the condemned property, 2, the sufficiency of the security, 3, the declaration of taking, and 3, any other procedure followed by the condemnor.
Each of these three categories of objection has been litigated and more fully defined by the Courts. The important issue for a property owner to remember upon receiving a notice of declaration of taking is the time period noted above to file objections. Ideally, a property owner will have already contacted an attorney prior to the filing of the D/T. It is imperative to contact a condemnation attorney immediately upon receipt of the declaration of taking so that your interests may be properly be evaluated and protected. In most instances, preliminary objections are not merited and the case can then proceed to the valuation process. However, failure to evaluate the declaration of taking within the 30-day period can have a serious impact on the property owners being made whole.
Duerr Law has extensive experience in evaluating the D/T and if necessary, filing preliminary objections as well as all other aspects of the condemnation process. Please contact our office to discuss your specific case.