In a condemnation proceeding, the Government attempts to damage or take private property. This taking can be partial or full. To properly extinguish between a full taking or partial taking, one must further evaluate the meaning of property in Georgia law.
You may be asking yourself, why does this even matter? As we have explained in other blog posts, the private owner is entitled to fair compensation under the United States Constitution and the Georgia Law. This is why it is crucial for private owners to properly examine the property interest that they’re losing. Based upon the burden that the government has caused on the private owner, the basis for fair compensation would be different. In short, the more government takes, the more the property owner is entitled to receive compensation.
Generally, in the context of eminent domain in Georgia law, the property has a very broad and liberal meaning. The property owners’ right to possess and occupy, right to exclude others, right to enjoy, right to liquidation and disposal, and generally all other rights in relation to the land is within the property owner’s bundle of rights.
As such, a prudent advocate keeps in mind this entire bundle of rights and thoroughly examines the property rights the private owner risks losing and therefore strategizes the best legal defense based on that full picture. To Distinguish between partial and full taking, the need to further examine the property interest that is taken is key.
If the government takes all of the private owner’s property and her entire bundle of rights, in effect wiping out the private owner’s rights, the taking is full. However, if the government only takes a portion of the private owners property rights, the taking is partial.
This article is not intended to provide legal advice or substitute the need for advice of counsel. If you have a property facing condemnation action, be sure to contact our team of experts. We are trained and motivated to fight fiercely to protect Georgia private owners from government overreach.