Pennsylvania Eminent Domain Attorney
Kathryn J. McGown

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     How Eminent Domain Works

     PennDoT will approach you, appraise your property and offer you what is known in the law as "Estimated Just Compensation" (EJC).  This is their initial monetary offer for the real property that they are taking from you.  An agent of PennDoT (commonly known as a Real Estate Acquisition Specialist) will typically make an appointment with you, make the EJC offer to you and attempt to secure your signature on final settlement documentation.  The individual I have just described works for, or reports to, PennDoT.

     You may determine that the EJC offered by PennDoT is adequate and you may simply desire to have your settlement documentation reviewed by an attorney experienced in Eminent Domain matters.  You may be concerned about what your property rights are if PennDoT is only acquiring a temporary construction easement from you.  You may be very dissatisfied with your EJC offer.  If you are dissatisfied with the offer, you will need aggressive, knowledgeable representation.  PennDoT is under time constraints to acquire the property and build the project, however, you need not be rushed into a decision of this magnitude.

     You are not required to accept PennDoT's offer as a final settlement.  You are entitled to have an attorney of your choosing assist you with evaluating your case, reviewing documentation, and/or assisting you with understanding the process which you are about to experience.