Protecting Your Real Estate Rights: Just Compensation for Temporary Loss of Access

istock orange barrellHas road construction in front of your business driveway caused your business to lose revenue? Today’s blog serves to inform and educate business owners in New Mexico, Amarillo, Georgetown, and San Antonio, Texas about how real estate and business attorneys at Marquardt Law Firm, P.C. can fight for your rights for just compensation when the government causes you to temporarily lose access to your business.

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution prevents the government from taking property for public use without just compensation. Berman v. Parker, 348 U.S. 26, 35 (1954). The right to access property is considered to be a type of property. Hart v. Buckner, 54 F. 925, 930 (5th Cir. 1892). The United States Supreme Court has ruled that the government must compensate a property owner for taking property for public use even if the “taking” was only temporary. First English Evangelical Lutheran Church of Glendale v. County of Los Angeles, 482 U.S. 304 (1987). New Mexico courts more strictly interpret federal precedent by holding that the government is only required to compensate a property owner when “the project causing the impaired access should never have taken place, or if the project dragged on for an unreasonably long time.” Hill v. State Highway Comm’n, 516 P.2d 199, 201 (N.M. 1973); Matthew Holt, Orange Barrel Litigation: Revisiting Temporary Loss of Access Claims Caused by Construction Projects, 56 Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Journal, 327 (Fall 2015). Texas law is uncertain. In general, it appears as though the Texas Supreme Court is not likely to rule on the side of landowners. See Hallco Texas, Inc. v. McMullen County, 221 S.W.3d (Tex. 2006); Sheffield Development Company, Inc. v. City of Glenn Heights, 140 S.W.3d 660 (Tex. 2004); and Mayhew et al v. Town of Sunnyvale, 964 S.W.2d 922 (Tex. 1998). However, the appeals court in San Antonio has ruled favorably for the landowners. City of San Antonio v. El Dorado Amusement Company, Inc., 195 S.W.3d 238 (San Antonio 2006).

Now that you know how uncertain the law is on whether the government is required to compensate you when it temporarily takes access to your business away from you, make sure and hire a real estate attorney to fight for your rights. Call Marquardt Law Firm, P.C. at 210-530-4278, 512-766-3782, or 575-430-2353.

The information in this blog does not constitute a legal opinion and does not constitute legal advice. Legal opinions and legal advice can only be given after a qualified attorney has reviewed your specific facts and circumstances, has analyzed the current law and applicable regulations, and has applied the law to your unique case. Marquardt Law Firm, P.C. provides blog information only for those who know full well that relying on newsletters and internet information should not be the sole basis for taking action.


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