Eminent Domain/Condemnation


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Eminent domain—also referred to as condemnation—is the process by which a governmental entity takes private property for use in a public project, such as the widening of a road.  Eminent domain proceedings are governed by a comprehensive statutory scheme.  The attorneys of the FREEMAN FIRM have practiced eminent domain law for many years and have the experience and knowledge to successfully navigate through the complex California law regulating eminent domain proceedings.  The FREEMAN FIRM has successfully assisted numerous governmental entities in acquiring land for public projects, and our firm has represented landowners in protecting their property rights.


Representative Eminent Domain Clients Include

  • Amador Water Agency
  • City of Lathrop
  • City of Lodi
  • City of Ripon
  • City of Sacramento
  • City of Stockton
  • Calaveras County
  • Glenn County 
  • Sacramento County 
  • San Joaquin County
  • Central Delta Water Agency
  • Nevada County Sanitation District
  • Reclamation District No. 17 
  • Redevelopment Agency of the City of Stockton
  • San Joaquin County Office of Education
  • Waterford Community Services District
  • Westside Irrigation District


Representative Eminent Domain Cases Include

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FREEMAN FIRM's Client: Governmental Agency v. Property Owner

Case Overview

The FREEMAN FIRM's client, Governmental Agency, sought to acquire a permanent easement and a temporary construction easement necessary for a sewer project.  Property Owner demanded over $1.2 million for the property interests, claiming that amount represented the fair market value of the property and compensation for loss in value the remaining land due to the taking.  THE FREEMAN FIRM believed the Governmental Agency's lower appraised value was fair compensation and prepared for trial.  On the eve of trial, the FREEMAN FIRM settled the case for less than half the amount Property Owner demanded.     

Governmental Agency v. FREEMAN FIRM's Client: Dairy Farmers

Case Overview

Governmental Agency sought to take land owned by the FREEMAN FIRM's client, Dairy Farmers, for a highway project.  The issue at trial was the value of the land being taken.  Governmental Agency valued a portion of the land at less than $500, claiming an existing easement caused a decrease in the value of the property.  The FREEMAN FIRM stood firm on our final offer.  At trial, the jury awarded the FREEMAN FIRM's client, Dairy Farmers, an amount which not only exceed our final offer by $50,000, but was $160,000 higher than Governmental Agency's final offer.      


Frequently Asked Questions:

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What is a Condemnor?

A condemnor is the governmental entity seeking to take private land for a public use; the condemnor is the plaintiff in an eminent domain action.

What is a Condemnee?

The condemnee is the owner of the property interests that the governmental entity is seeking to obtain; the condemnee is the defendant in an eminent domain action.

What is Fair Market Value?

Fair market value is the highest price for property that a willing buyer would have paid in cash to a willing seller, assuming that (1) there is no pressure on either one to buy or sell; and (2) the buyer and seller know all the uses and purposes for which the property is reasonably capable of being used.  The amount which is determined to be the fair market value of the property is the amount the governmental entity pays the landowner to acquire the property interest.

What is a Resolution of Necessity?

A Resolution of Necessity is the formal expression of the will of an official body adopted by a vote; in an eminent domain matter, a resolution of necessity must establish that (1) public interest and necessity require the proposed project; (2) the project is planned or located in a manner that is compatible with the greatest public good and the least private injury; and (3) the property to be taken is necessary for the project.

All definitions provided in this section of our website are paraphrased from Black's Law Dictionary and are meant to provide only basic information about the terms used herein.

If you have a question about our firm or want to schedule a consultation with an attorney, please call 209. 474.1818 or fill out our contact form so we may provide additional assistance.

Freeman, D'Aiuto, Pierce, Gurev, Keeling & Wolf 

1818 GRAND CANAL BOULEVARD . SUITE 4 . STOCKTON . CALIFORNIA 95207

Tel   209.474.1818   /   Fax   209.474.1245   /   info@freemanfirm.com

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