(314) 725-5151 ST LOUIS
Denlow & Henry
(888) 566-5151 TOLL FREE
Eminent Domain Information
Practicing Solely In Eminent Domain

Nor Shall Private Property Be Taken For Public Use, Without Just Compensation
- The 5th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

West Terra Lane Realignment project in O'Fallon, Missouri

The City of O’Fallon is proposing a project along West Terra Lane that includes reconstruction and realignment of the roadway. The project involves reconstructing the current intersection to include a roundabout with bypass lanes for traffic entering I-70 from West Terra Lane and for traffic heading eastbound on West Terra Lane from the I-70 interchange. This is a proposed project by the City of O’Fallon and construction is not estimated to begin until 2028.

For more information.

So, what happens next?

While the United States and Missouri constitutions allow for the use of eminent domain for this type of project, they also stipulate that landowners must be paid “just compensation” for their property.

The Denlow & Henry law firm has represented thousands of property owners in eminent domain cases in over 56 counties throughout Missouri for more than 35 years.

Denlow & Henry principal Paul Henry, said the firm has seen every kind of condemnation case imaginable, from individual landowners to large corporations and properties ranging from single family residences, retail, industrial and agricultural.

How does eminent domain work?

The legal process used to take property is called condemnation and is controlled by Missouri statutes and court rules, including:

Henry said the primary disagreement in most condemnation cases is about money, but in some cases the more important issue is to get the agency to agree to changes in the project to minimize negative impacts. In cases where a property owner must leave the property, there are relocation issues and expenses that may be reimbursable.

Landowners who receive an notice of taking or an offer from an agency should not sign anything until they have a lawyer review the documents, because there is no way to undo the transaction after an agreement has been reached. In fact, property owners should not speak to a government representative or appraiser about their property before seeking legal advice. In condemnation, property owners receive a one-time payment for all of the impacts to a property that’s being taken or affected by a project. It is vitally important that an attorney with years of experience, knowledge and skills be consulted because there is no second chance after the acquisition is completed.

The attorneys at Denlow & Henry will initially consult with property owners for no charge. This will often include a visit to the property to assess the situation.

What are property owners owed?

Simply stated, a property owner is entitled to “just compensation” which means the fair market value of their property. However, the rules of valuation in the condemnation setting can be complicated. When a project only requires and easement or a portion of a property, there may be damages to the portion that remains. These are called consequential or severance damages. Depending on the circumstances, consequential damages may be significant. While a land value disagreement is usually straight-forward, consequential damages are typically more complicated and may not be as apparent to someone who does not have experience in condemnation cases.

Again, it is important that anyone who receives an eminent domain offer not sign anything until after consulting with a lawyer, because there is no way for an agreement to be undone. There is only one opportunity to be compensated for a taking and property owners should take time to carefully consider what they are owed.

Receive Updates on this Topic

As a service to property owners we have developed a list of topics and projects relating to eminent domain and condemnation. If you would like more information on this topic or project, or have another issue that you would like to discuss with us, please use this form. If a project is not listed, contact us.