Procedure in Eminent Domain & Importance of Appraisers

Barry A. Ross's Eminent Domain Legal Blogs

Licensed for 44 years

Attorney in Irvine, CA

Barry A. Ross

Fixed hourly rates

Serving Irvine, CA

Attorney at firm Barry A. Ross, Esq.

Serving Irvine, CA

Fixed hourly rates

Awards AV Preeminent

The government conducts a public hearing and adopts a resolution of necessity.  The resolution authorizes the government to initiate the eminent domain action.  The resolution requires a two-thirds vote.  The resolution must contain certain specific findings relating to the public necessity of the project.  The next step is the filing of the lawsuit.  The government files the lawsuit and serves it on the property or business owner.  Frequently, the government obtains an order for immediate possession at the same time it files the lawsuit.   By depositing the appraised value of the property as determined by the government and complying with certain other procedural formalities, the government is entitled to take possession of the property prior to trial.  In the case of occupied property, this may occur within 90 days after the order for immediate possession is served on the property owner.  In all other cases, thirty days notice is sufficient.  In the case of an “emergency,” possession may be had within three days.  During the course of the litigation, the parties are required to exchange their respective appraisals and settlement offers.  At trial, a judge or jury determines the value of the property or business. 

The primary dispute in eminent domain is over-valuation.  The government will usually contend that the property or business is worth less than the property or business owner believes it is worth. This results in a battle of the appraisal experts.  Each party retains an appraiser who will testify in court as to the value of the property or business.  Usually, the testimony of the appraisers is widely varied. 

For more information concerning Eminent Domain Law and Real Estate Law, contact Barry A. Ross, Esq. at 949-727-0977, e-mail:, or visit our website at  For a FREE download of California Homeowner Association Members Guide, go to my website at

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