Local business obtains additional $43,800.00 for property acquired by Highway Commission

July 10, 2012

n July 10, 2012, Thompson Industries, Inc. entered into a Consent Judgment with the Arkansas State Highway Commission for an additional $43,800 resolving a condemnation action involving 1.95 acres of land and a permanent easement of .34 acres in Pope County, Arkansas. The Arkansas State Highway Commission had intially offered $9,200 for the property.

At issue in the matter was the determination of the property's "highest and best" use. The Highway Commission had classified the property as "recreational" use in an appraisal of the subject property, The landowners obtained an appraisal classifying the property as having a "commercial" highest and best use. The commercial use designation was supported by a site plan and evaluation conducted by a local civil engineer working on behalf of the landowners. Ultimately, the parties were able to resolve the matter for a total amount of more than five times the initial offer.

This case is a great example of how one decision by an appraiser for the Highway Commission can substantially impact the amount of just compensation initally offered to landowners in condemnation cases. It also exemplifies the reason why landowners facing condemnation actions need to consult with experienced professionals (e.g. appraisers, engineers, and attorneys) involved with the litigation of such matters to ensure that they receive the just compensation they deserve when land is acquired by eminent domain in Arkansas.

The landowners were represented in this case by Brandon Moffitt of Moffitt & Phillips, PLLC and Richard Peel of the Peel Law Firm in Russellvile, AR.

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