Eminent Domain - Part 3 of 4: Practical Strategies a Landowner Should Follow to Maximize Compensation


This Article first appeared in Oklahoma Farm Bureau Legal Foundation, March 7, 2008.

The United States and Oklahoma Constitutions both require that the owner of private land taken for a public use receive just compensation. Because the United States Supreme Court takes a much more restrictive approach with respect to just compensation, Oklahoma landowners should look to the Oklahoma Constitution to maximize their compensation. Specifically, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has interpreted article 2, section 24 of the Oklahoma Constitution to require that the owner receive “full” compensation for the land subject to condemnation – that the owner “be placed as fully as possible in the same position as that before the government’s taking.” Under Oklahoma law, the condemning entity must compensate landowners for the fair market value of their land, as well as relocation expenses and certain consequential damages. While there is a general rule against allowing compensation for business losses, the Oklahoma Supreme Court has still shown willingness to allow a jury to hear evidence about the business conducted on the land as part of the jury’s determination of the fair market value of the property.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft attorney: Jeff L. Todd.

Please see full article for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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