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Eminent Domain/Condemnation
Eminent Domain, also commonly called condemnation, is a process whereby a state or federal government, or an entity authorized by them, is allowed to “take” private property for a “public use”.  Eminent Domain is technically the legal right to take the property granted by the state and federal constitutions. Condemnation is the legal process by which the taking may occur.
The most recognizable purposes include road and highway, railroad, power line and pipeline right of ways, although there can be many others. Generally, the landowners along the affected route will be contacted by a land purchasing agent for the entity in an attempt to negotiate the purchase of the desired right of way without necessity for an eminent domain/condemnation lawsuit. However, if negotiations are unsuccessful, the entity will likely file a lawsuit to condemn or “take” the portion of the property it desires, over the objection of the landowner. 

Entities which have been granted the power of eminent domain have the right to take property through this process and the principal issue to be determined is the amount of “Just Compensation” due the landowner. There are many factors which may be considered in determining Just Compensation which may not be readily apparent to a landowner first experiencing this process.  Michael Trefny has handled cases involving pipelines, roadways and power lines in Colorado and several surrounding counties and will be glad to help guide you through the process. Cases are usually handled on a contingent fee basis, with fees being based only on the additional amounts recovered over and above the written offer from the taking entity or its agents. 
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