What is Eminent Domain in Arizona? Here’s What You Need to Know
Many property owners might not be aware that the local, state and federal government have the right to legally acquire private property that is deemed necessary for the public interest. It can certainly be frustrating when your property is subject to eminent domain, but it is vital to understand what eminent domain is in Arizona before attempting to take action to prevent the acquisition of your property or establish a higher valuation for your property.
Eminent domain in Arizona gives government entities the right to acquire private property and private property owners have rights that must be represented in the process as well. Here is what you need to know about eminent domain in Arizona.
Article 2, Section 17 of the Arizona Constitution
Article 2, Section 17 of the Arizona Constitution and Arizona Revised Statutes § 12-1112 authorizes the State to exercise the power of eminent domain in Arizona. Generally, the process involves establishing the public use for the proposed property that will be acquired using eminent domain. The government entity looking to acquire the property must pay the private property owner a fair market value for the property.
Reasons for Eminent Domain in Arizona
There are many reasons that a local or state government can utilize eminent domain in Arizona to acquire private property. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Public utility lines
- Sewer or oil pipelines
- Sporting Stadiums
- Roads and freeways
- Water access projects
- Commercial development
- Housing developments
Legal Action Against Eminent Domain in Arizona
If your private property is identified by an authorized government agency for eminent domain, it is unlikely you will be able to prevent your property from being acquired. The government entity simply needs to demonstrate that the property will serve the public interest, the property owner is being offered fair compensation for the property, and the property owner is represented in fair negotiations for the property.
This is a straightforward and low bar for any authorized government agency to meet when looking to acquire private property with eminent domain in Arizona. However, there are certainly cases where fair market value of the property is in dispute and the property owner has a reasonable case that their interests have not been represented. Eminent domain law in Arizona is complicated and any case requires the review of an experienced Arizona real estate attorney to determine if the private property owner has a case.
Determining Fair Market Value in Arizona Eminent Domain Cases
Any government agency in Arizona looking to utilize eminent domain will typically utilize certified home inspectors and real estate attorneys to establish the case for public interest in the property and the fair market value. It is also common for property owners to feel the compensation offered is not fair. Property owners need to understand they will incur the costs of pursuing a claim in court to prove the compensation is not fair.
Much like any other real estate transaction, there are many factors that establish the fair market value of a particular property. The core features are the size of the property, zoning, location, development on the property, and current use. Potential or planned use of the property can be considered if the private property owner can prove their intention to make those improvements to the property.
Understanding the costs and time involved in pursuing better compensation when disputing an eminent domain claim on private property is essential. It is important to review the potential offer with an Arizona real estate attorney that can offer an independent assessment of the property value and help determine if there is reasonable potential for better compensation if a claim is pursued.
Work with the Leading Arizona Real Estate Law Firm
The attorneys at MacQueen & Gottlieb have established a proven track record of representing our clients in complicated real estate legal matters in Arizona. Our firm can review any proposed or current eminent domain claim to make sure your rights are being fairly represented and you are receiving just compensation for your property.
While you typically cannot prevent an eminent domain claim, you can make sure that you are receiving a fair offer on your property. Contact the real estate attorneys at M&G Law today at 602-562-7218 or make an appointment online.