What Is Just Compensation When the Government Takes Your Property Through Eminent Domain

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Just compensation in South Carolina eminent domain refers to the fair market value of the property taken by the government for public use. The Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and South Carolina Constitution require that property owners be compensated when the government exercises its power of eminent domain to take private property for public use.

The just compensation owed to property owners in South Carolina is based on the fair market value of the property at the time of the taking. This value takes into account factors such as the property's location, size, condition, and potential for development. It also includes compensation for any damage or losses suffered by the property owner because of the taking. The date at which the taking occurs fixes the point at which damage should be assessed, because it is the value of the property taken as of that date which furnishes the measure of compensation and damages. In all condemnation actions, the date of valuation is the date of the filing of the condemnation notice. South Carolina State Highway Department v. Miller, 117 S.E.2d 561 (S.C. 1960); South Carolina Code of Laws Ann. § 28-2-440 (1987). Just compensation does not include punitive damages. Rice Hope Plantation v. South Carolina Public Service Authority, 216 S.C. 500, 59 S.E.2d 132 (1950).

The property owner has the right to obtain an independent appraisal of the property to determine its fair market value. If the government and property owner cannot agree on the amount of compensation, the property owner has the right to demand a jury trial on the issue of just compensation owed.

Attorney Ryan F. McCarty has helped landowners receive just compensation after a government entity or utility seizes their property through condemnation. Contact KD Trial Lawyers today at (864) 585-5100 or www.spartanlaw.com to assist you in the litigation of these cases.

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