Property Rights

Protecting Landowner Property Rights

The DeVore Law Firm represents commercial, residential, non-profit, ranch and agricultural property owners in eminent domain, property rights, and inverse condemnation cases. We are acutely familiar with Oklahoma eminent domain laws and procedures and have experience representing landowners in eminent domain and property rights litigation across the state and in federal court. We associate with like-minded, highly qualified law firms in other states at no additional cost to our clients when doing so will provide an added benefit, allowing us to seamlessly handle projects that cross state lines.

We assist property owners impacted by pipeline projects, highway expansions, intersection improvements, transmission line projects, bridge replacements, and more. We are client-centered and strive to build strong relationships with our clients, while aggressively protecting their private property rights.

The DeVore Law Firm can help you understand your rights, determine if the proposed taking is necessary and justified, and identify when the amount offered to acquire private property is truly just compensation as guaranteed under the law.

Eminent Domain 

In Oklahoma, the term eminent domain, also known as condemnation, refers to the power of the government and some private corporations to acquire private property for public use. In such cases, the landowner is entitled to compensation based on the fair market value of the property taken.  Under Oklahoma law, a landowner must be provided “just compensation” by due process of law whenever private property is taken for a public use.

The public use requirement can be broadly defined.  It is implied, however, that the purpose of the taking must be for the benefit of the public, and not for the benefit of any specified individuals or private entity. The Oklahoma Constitution provides that private property may not be taken or damaged using the power of eminent domain unless the taking or damage is necessary to accomplish a lawful public purpose.

Condemnation cases are unique legal proceedings that force a landowner to defend his rights against powerful state and federal agencies, public authorities, municipalities, utilities, and various energy and transportation companies in a legal fight that may appear impossible to win.  While eminent domain proceedings can be complex and confusing, with experienced legal counsel you can fight to defend your property and your rights.

Some examples of lawful eminent domain takings for public use include:
  • Road Widenings
  • Intersection Improvements
  • Bridge Replacements
  • Railroads
  • Lakes and Impoundments
  • Pipeline and Transmission Line Projects
  • School Expansions and New School Construction
  • Airport Expansions
  • Public Parks, Trails and Conservation Projects
  • Water Treatment Facilities and other Utility Infrastructure Improvements

If you believe your property rights may be threatened by a proposed public project or government regulation, contact the DeVore Law Firm at  (405) 603-8585 to speak with an eminent domain lawyer and learn how we can help protect your property rights.