For most Oklahoma landowners the taking of their land is an unwanted and seems to be an unjust process. The
condemning company has certain legal rights to utilize and sometimes take the property. Companies know exactly
what their rights are. You need the same expertise. It is the TERMS that your land is taken under that are critical.
Here are a few that must be considered:
- By signing a settlement agreement are you barred from any future claims?
- As a landowner are you agreeing to let them use the land outside of what the law gives them a
right to do?
- Is your water being adequately compensated for?
- Are you signing something that does not allow for compensation for subsequent uses?
- Will electricity access be above (poles all over your property) or under ground?
- Are the terms (number, substance, size, etc.) clearly defined in the agreement?
- Will the easement be done via the double ditch method? (so you have topsoil)
- Do you have a general (typically in favor of the company) or specific (typically in favor of the
property owner) agreement?
- What is your damage worth?
- Does the fact that you agreed rather than forcing a jury trial mean you gave up rights you should
These are just some of the issues that must be evaluated every time you sign anything or decide to take
compensation for the damage to your land. Usually the law provides protection, but if one is not keenly aware of
those protections, it is extremely hard to bargain and get what you deserve. Essentially, you need a landowner
|"No person shall be deprived of life, liberty, or property without 'due process of law.' "
U.S. Constitution, Fifth Amendment
PRIVATE PROPERTY SHALL NOT BE TAKEN WITHOUT JUST COMPENSATION
"Let the people have property and they will have power."
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