What You Need to Know

Residential Takings

When the government says they’re going to take your land, it can disrupt your life, and the next steps you take are crucial. Even the smallest taking can do incredible damage to your property. Here’s what you need to know.

Rural Home at Sunset

Issues you may be facing


If the property being taken from you means you have to move, the initial offer likely will not include relocation compensation. You may be entitled to it! 


Condemnation is what the government is doing when it takes your property. Technically, condemnation is a lawsuit.

Inverse Condemnation

Instead of officially taking your property, sometimes the government’s actions infringe on your property or your rights without them ever actually condemning it.


An easement is essentially the right to use your land without taking it from you. You still own it, but its usefulness and value may be damaged.


An appraisal is a professional evaluation of the value of property. However, not all appraisers or appraisals are created equal.

Eminent domain process: residential

Step 1
Step 2
Step 3
Step 4
Woman opening a letter from the department of transportation.

The clock starts

As soon as you receive notice that the DOT plans to take your property, it’s time for action.

Even if the taking is years off, this is the time to find out exactly what the effects will be to your commercial property, because when acquisition starts, it will move quickly.

INSIDER TIP: This is the best time to find a qualified lawyer. If they work on contingency (meaning no up-front costs, an arrangement our firm offers), you get someone to spoon feed information to appraisers and speak on your behalf during this period without you having to paying anything.
Surveyor in a high-vis vest working at the top of a dirt hill.

The initial offer

A government appraiser will give their opinion on the value of your property, and make an offer. These opinions can vary greatly, and GDOT is not required to share its appraisal with you – though an eminent domain attorney may be able to get it.

If you agree to the price they offer (not recommended), you cannot negotiate for more in the future.

A pen resting on a parcel map of a neighborhood.

We advocate

After the initial offer is deposited and you declare your intent to fight for more, you can take that money while we begin building a case to try to prove your property’s “highest and best use.” 

We then negotiate on your behalf, leveraging the evidence we’ve built. If history is any guide, you’ll see their offer rise.1

INSIDER TIP: Proving your property’s worth can be expensive. It often requires long hours and hiring additional experts. But we’re so confident in our work that we front all costs and guarantee you pay nothing if we don’t get you more than the government’s initial offer.
Man opening a letter from the Georgia Eminent Domain Law Office.

Get the second check

After we have negotiated what we believe to be a good offer that truly compensates you for what is being taken, we’ll ask for your authorization to close the case. Then we work to collect the funds on your behalf.

In some instances, we may advise that it is in your best interest to take it to trial. This choice will be yours, and our active litigation practice often results in higher offers the longer the matter proceeds into the litigation process.

INSIDER TIP: Only at this point will we take an attorney’s fee. We will also use this settlement to pay any bills associated with your case for you. The net recovery is all yours!

Frequently asked questions

Get a free case
evaluation today.

There are only a handful of attorneys in GA who practice eminent domain exclusively. And even fewer with DOT experience. That’s why it’s always worth it to get a free case evaluation.

Here’s how it works:

1) Tell us about your situation.

2) We research your property as needed, using DOT maps, our own technology, and experience to see the exact effects.

3) We let you know what we think a fair offer would be. This evaluation is free, and there’s no
pressure or obligation to hire us after.

But please don’t wait to act. Waiting can hurt your case, and the cost is the same: free.

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