Inverse Condemnation

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Do you have an inverse condemnation situation on your hands? Did the government take advantage of your property without compensation? If so, you may have a case. As with most legal matters, time is of the essence and you should move quickly if you hope to win a favorable decision. is a good place to start. We are a State bar certified lawyer referral service and can give you a free consultation in regard to your inverse condemnation case. Under the constitutions of California and United States, a property owner can be entitled to “just compensation” for the taking or damaging of private property for “public use.” This is true even when the taking or damaging is the unintended result of the design, construction, maintenance, or operation of a public project.

Real estate law is a very broad and complicated legal area as it deals with; real estate transactionsreal estate litigation, real property, quit claims, property rights and interests, buying and selling real property, homeowner’s rights, landlords and rental properties, renters’ and tenants’ rights, and a multitude of other issues. Real estate law governs personal interests in property, such as rights of ownership, establishing property title, requirements in sales and transfers of property, and the settlement of claims against property. Real estate law also covers property development, agricultural concerns, zoning and property land use, real estate lending, and foreclosures. This area of law can be very complex, as laws often differ significantly from state to state, and even from city to city.

Inverse Condemnation Cases

Do you have an inverse condemnation case? Inverse condemnation occurs when a public project damages your property and you do not receive any compensation for the damage to your property or in many cases the government  takes your property -damages or occupies it- and does not compensate you.

Inverse condemnation may occur when a nearby public project that causes:

  • Drainage
  • Building Government Projects
  • Emergency acts of god
  • Hurricane Damage
  • Earthquake damage
  • Flood damage
  • Landslide
  • Land subsidence (sinking)
  • Loss of adjacent or subjacent support
  • Delays in purchases
  • Physical occupation of the property even if there is no property damage

 Inverse Condemnation Laws

We have held that “The power of eminent domain is an inherent attribute of sovereignty.” (County of San Mateo v. Coburn (1900) 130 Cal. 631, 634 [63 P. 78, 621]; accord City of Anaheim v. Michel (1968) 259 Cal. App.2d 835, 837 [66 Cal. Rptr. 543]Anaheim Union High Sch. Dist. v. Vieira (1966) 241 Cal. App.2d 169, 171 [51 Cal. Rptr. 94].) This sovereign power has been described as “universally” recognized and “necessary to the very existence of government.” (1 Nichols on Eminent Domain (3d ed. 1980) §§ 1.11, 1.14[2], pp. 1-10, 1-22.) When properly exercised, that power affords an orderly compromise between the public good and the protection and indemnification of private citizens whose property is taken to advance that good. That protection is constitutionally ordained by the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is made applicable to the states by nature of the Fourteenth Amendment (Chicago, Burlington Sc. R’d. v. Chicago (1897) 166 U.S. 226, 233-241 [41 L.Ed. 979, 983-986, 17 S.Ct. 581]) and by article I, section 19 of the California Constitution.

(1) Because the power to condemn is an inherent attribute of general government, we have observed that “constitutional provisions merely place limitations upon its exercise.” (People v.Chevalier (1959) 52 Cal.2d 299, 304 [340 P.2d 598].) The two constitutional restraints are that the taking be for a “public use” and that “just compensation” be paid therefor. (Ibid.City of Anaheim, supra, 259 Cal. App.2d at p. 837.) No constitutional restriction, federal or state, purports to limit the nature of the property that may be taken by eminent domain. (2) In contrast to the broad powers of general government, however, “a municipal corporation has no inherent power of eminent domain and can exercise it only when expressly authorized by law. (City of Menlo Park v. Artino [1957] 151 Cal. App.2d 261, 266….)” (City 65*65 of Anaheim, supra, at p. 837.) We examine briefly the source of City’s statutory power.

(3) In 1975, California’s eminent domain statutes received extensive revision and recodification. (See Code Civ. Proc., § 1230.010 et seq.; all further statutory references are to this code unless otherwise indicated; see also, e.g., Gov. Code, § 37350.5.) These changes were recommended by the California Law Revision Commission after it studied our existing eminent domain law and reviewed similar laws of every jurisdiction in the United States, pursuant to legislative direction. (See Eminent Domain Law, 13 Cal. Law Revision Com. Rep. (1975) pp. 1009-1011.) In the words of the commission, the new law was intended “to cover, in a comprehensive manner, all aspects of condemnation law and procedure” and to produce “a modern Eminent Domain Law within the existing California statutory framework.” (Id., at pp. 1010-1011.)


Find a Real Estate Lawyer

Real estate is an especially profound and robust area of law. Thus if you find yourself dealing with a legal issue concerning real estate or real property, it is in your best interest to consult a qualified, experienced attorney. is here to help, as a State Bar of California-certified lawyer referral service, our panel of attorneys includes a number of lawyers with extensive experience in dealing with real estate matters. These attorneys are familiar with the challenges of real estate law and may be able to help you recover damages suffered to your real estate investment as a result . Please do not hesitate to call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to discuss your case with a representative at no charge.

Inverse Condemnation
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