Arkansas Legislature Approves Property Owner Bill of Rights

April 6, 2015

Today, Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed HB1908 establishing a Property Owner Bill of Rights which provides protection to property owners facing eminent domain and condemnation in Arkansas. The bill essentially codifies several provisions of existing Arkansas eminent domain law, while also providing several new rights to property owners. In regard to the new provisions, any entity in Arkansas using eminent domain will be required to provide known property owners an assessment of the just compensation owed and make a good-faith offer before filing a condemnation. Also, property owners will be guaranteed a jury trial in all eminent domain and condemnation actions as well as be afforded an opportunity to recover all of their costs and expenses and a reasonable attorney's fee if they obtain more than twenty percent (20%) above the condemning entity's initial assessment at trial. One caveat to the costs, expenses, and attorney's fees provision is that the legislation exempts cities and counties.  

Our office would like to recognize the work of Rep. Rick Beck and Rep. Charlotte Douglas in filing this legislation to protect property owners in Arkansas and attempt to level the playing field in eminent domain and condemnation actions. This legislation will force condemnors to come to the table and negotiate with property owners instead of using their condemnation power to intimidate property owners.

You can find a link to the new eminent domain law by clicking the link below:

Arkansas Property Owner Bill of Rights

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