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What can happen to cause inverse condemnation?

On Behalf of | May 1, 2020 | Firm News |

California public entities and landowners understand that inverse condemnation can be a complex issue. There are two type of property takings that can lead to inverse condemnation. This land seizure is usually brought by private landowners against government entities for damage done to their property.

Private property owners can bring a suit against government entities for two reasons in regard to inverse condemnation. The first is physical in nature, which is the most common. Examples of this can be the land is permanently flooded because of a dam construction, or their land is damaged because of a landslide caused by the construction of a new freeway. Wildfires caused by utility companies that damage private property are also common reasons for an inverse condemnation claim. Usually the damage is caused by a public entity, but it can also be caused by a use for public purposes.

The second reason for inverse condemnation in California is regulatory. This can be more controversial and relate to the temporary taking or occupation by the government of property that then renders the property unusable. Examples of this can include the denial of a permit under the Clean Water Act to fill wetlands, a private property is not able to expand because an airport safety zone was expanded, or an ordinance is created in which a landowner is no longer able to re-build in a flood protection area.

Inverse condemnation in California is complicated. Private landowners and public entities both need to understand how this can affect them. A legal professional who specializes in real property can help their client with their concerns and advise them on their best options.


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