Eminent Domain Law in North Dakota and Minnesota

Each year in North Dakota and Minnesota, there are a number of eminent domain cases that occur. Eminent domain refers to the body of law that authorizes the government to take the property belonging to individuals. Some of the most common reasons eminent domain is used to build highway projects, natural storage facility projects, pipeline projects, redevelopment projects, and transit projects. This law extends to all real property in North Dakota and Minnesota belonging to any person, lands belonging to the state, any type of power or water system, and virtually all other types of property in the state. In a large number of cases, individuals are unable to raise successful defenses to the taking of property under eminent domain. One of the best ways for individuals to respond if their land is taken by the government is to quickly obtain the assistance of a seasoned property law attorney. It is also a wise idea to learn as much information about the eminent domain process as possible.

The Eminent Domain Process in Minnesota and North Dakota

The eminent domain process in Minnesota and North Dakota allows the government to take the property belonging to another person provided that this land taking satisfies requirements for public necessity or public purpose. There have been many cases concerning eminent domain in the last year that have raised debate as to whether the development of areas suffering from economic hardship constitutes something that is done for the public necessity or public purpose.

Both Minnesota and North Dakota are recognized for having favorable laws for individuals who own property. In 2005, the United States Supreme Court expanded the definition of public use to include private companies. In 2006, North Dakota introduced “Measure 2,” which states that economic development does not include a public purpose and the government cannot take property for these reasons, which passed and was subsequently signed into law.

The government must also compensate property owners in accordance with the applicable highest and best use for a property. Often times, the government will complete an appraisal of the person’s property and then provide a copy of the appraisal and an offer to purchase the property. After this offer is made, a public hearing is often held for the agency to explain why the property must be taken. Once a settlement point is reached, the government will have a specified period in which to pay the property owner while title to the property will be transferred to the government.

Obtain the Assistance of a Skilled Property Law Attorney

The government is well versed in how to take property in accordance with eminent domain law. Fortunately, a seasoned property law attorney knows the best way to create strong legal strategies in these cases. Additionally, attorney’s fees are often recoverable from the state government if a person’s eminent domain case is successful. So, if you have questions about the process or need strong legal assistance to determine exactly how you can respond to these types of cases, contact attorney Dean Rindy at O’Keeffe O’Brien Lyson Foss either online or by calling 701-235-8000 or 877-235-8002.