Condemnation and Eminent Domain

Ensuring Fair Compensation for Northern Virginia Landowners and Business Owners

Eminent Domain is the constitutional power of federal, state, or local government to take private property for public use. This power has been delegated to a number of federal and state agencies as well as regulated entities, such as the Virginia Department of Transportation and utility companies.

The same constitutional provisions granting this power also require the government agency exercising it to pay "just compensation" to the owner for the property taken. "Just compensation" is a combination of two elements: fair market value for the property taken, which is what the property rights would have sold for, and damages to the remaining property, such as lost access to a highway or lost profits.

When the government or an agency exercises the Eminent Domain power, "just compensation" is determined through a legal proceeding called Condemnation. These proceedings can be a traumatizing experience for a property or business owner impacted by a state project.

How Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC Attorneys Will Help You

In a condemnation proceeding, the government makes an offer to acquire the needed property rights based on an appraisal, usually from an internal appraiser. These appraisals can downplay or outright ignore many of the benefits of the property and may misapply pertinent legal standards. Our attorneys draw on their proven successes and knowledge, working with top engineers and appraisers, to ensure that you receive fair compensation that reflects the true value of the property taken as well as any damages to the residual, either in settlement negotiations or through a trial.

Attorneys from Surovell Isaacs & Levy PLC have represented landowners in condemnation proceedings along major state highways across Northern Virginia, including Route 1 in Prince William County, Route 7 in Fairfax County and Loudoun County, and Route 29 in Fairfax County.

Our Notable Northern Virginia Cases

  • Town of Purcellville v. Brown - The Town of Purcellville condemned sixteen acres of land through a long-time family farm to complete a collector road around the Town. The Town originally offered $432,000 for the land, arguing that it was devalued due to a long-standing private landfill. Scott Surovell and his co-counsel argued that land was capable of being rezoned commercial and had a much higher value. The case settled for $1,000,000.

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