A Word of Warning: Communications between Landowner & Condemning Authority
Any communication between you, the landowner, and the condemning authority may be used against you as an “admission against interest” at a later proceeding. These communications include both oral and written. They may severely affect you receiving fair compensation for your property. Even communications with a third party made be used against you. If you receive a condemnation notice or have learned that youra property is about to be condemned, contact the K&C Eminent Domain Group. The following cases should serve as a warning to others.
Case 1: A proposed improvement project to widen the road was in the initial stages of development. One of the affected landowners sent a letter to the condemning authority praising the planned development. The landowner also had communication with a third party regarding the proposed project. The condemning authority tried to introduce both of these communications into evidence at trial against the landowner.
Case 2: The condemning authority sought to introduce as evidence notes from a meeting that was held between the condemning authority and the landowner. In that meeting they discussed the impact an overpass would have on the entrance to their property. The landowner spoke favorably of the proposed project and the condemning authority sought to use those words as an admission against interest.
As illustrated through these cases, what you communicate to others can be introduced against you as an “admission against interest” in a court proceeding. Beware of what you say and if you think your property is the subject of condemnation, contact a K&C Eminent Domain attorney today.
K&C’s Eminent Domain Group is dedicated to the representation of property owners and tenants impacted by condemnation matters across Virginia. Go to “Landowner Checklist” for more comprehensive guidelines.
-Juan Abad, Laura Hoey, Mark Short