Eminent Domain

Southern Nevada continues to grow at an astounding rate. As state and local governments and utilities try to keep pace, inevitable conflicts arise between the government’s planning, infrastructure, and land use/zoning functions and the interests of private land and water owners. The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that private property shall not be taken for public use without the payment of just compensation. The protections of the United States and Nevada Constitutions are twofold. For one, they can be implicated by inverse condemnation claims, such as those brought by landowners against the government when the government’s land use regulations or other conduct is so oppressive that the landowner is deprived of the benefits of ownership, or the government seeks to exact an unrelated or disproportional property interest when the landowner seeks permission to construct a certain building or get permission to perform a certain business on his property. Or, they can be direct eminent domain proceedings, such as when the government needs private property to construct road, utilities, and other infrastructure that benefits the public at large and files legal action against the owner to take the property.

Gregory J. Walch represent various public and private clients in both inverse and direct condemnation litigation actions, as well as in matters relating to the Constitutionality of government dedication requirements in connection with development. As Nevada’s exploding growth continues, so does the need for advocates with a cutting edge understanding of what the government may and may not do in acquiring property, what the courts and the Constitutions of Nevada and the United States define as just compensation for a taking, and what a government may and may not require of a developer seeking development approvals. The firm’s eminent domain practice group has such expertise and understanding and is prepared to assist clients in these matters.