Employment Lawyers serving Roanoke, Lynchburg, and Central & Southside Virginia
Just Compensation, Public Use, 5th Amendment, Article I, Section 11, Non-delegation Doctrine, Condemnation
The 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides, "No ... private property [shall] be taken for public use, without just compensation." In addition, Art. I, Sec. 11 of the Virginia Constitution forbids the taking of private property for use by a private party, even for uses that some other states consider "public", such as economic development, job creation, or increased tax revenue. A common challenge to those opposing the use of eminent domain is arguing the taking is not for "public use." Some federal laws allowing private parties to exercise eminent domain preempt Virginia state law, meaning the party can take your property despite the state prohibition against it. However, other arguments exist to oppose such use and our managing partner, Mia Yugo, is at the front line of that battle, arguing that the separation of powers prevents Congress from delegating the power of eminent domain to a private party. This is known as the non-delegation doctrine and has enjoyed a recent revival on the federal level.
For landowners who either don't fight the use of eminent domain or who lose that battle, the good news is that the party taking your land still has to pay you "just compensation." Although no amount of money can make up for having your property taken from you against your will, it is the only remedy the law provides. We will guide you through the steps to maximize the amount you receive, whether by negotiation or litigation.
There are two categories of representation. For those fighting the taking of their land entirely, we charge a flat fee for each step of litigation. For those who do not oppose the taking but just want to increase the amount they are paid, our eminent domain attorneys charge a portion of the increase we obtain for you. This means if we can't get you any more money than the company offered you before you hired us, you don't owe us a dime. Negotiate the best deal you can and then give us a call to see how much more we can get for you. For those who don't want to sell at ANY price, the litigation is much more difficult and complex and is analyzed on a case-by-case basis. Mia is highly selective of which cases she accepts but is happy to provide a confidential consultation.
First, call our firm to speak with one of our eminent domain attorneys. Our lawyers will ask you some questions to determine if there is a conflict preventing us from representing you. An example of a conflict would be if at least one of the parties you plan to sue is a current or former client of Yugo Collins. If we determine there is no conflict, we will gather relevant information from you, analyze the issues in your case, and let you know the types of evidence we need you to gather to let us to analyze the merits of your case. If we conclude you are likely to prevail, we will send you an engagement letter explaining our services, how much we charge, and how payment will be collected.