It’s been said, you can’t fight progress. Indeed many of the wonders of the world we enjoy today are due to progress. But there are cases where progress results in the treatment of others that is clearly unfair.
It happens all the time. People refuse to move because of construction projects that are going on around them. Mostly those people eventually realize that they can’t win and accept an offer that is far below the real value of their property. You may have experienced it yourself.
There are countless examples, some much more complicated than others. Here’s one explained in layman’s terms:
A state or a municipality wants to widen a highway or put a new roadway in an area that encroaches on a property owner’s land. The owner is offered compensation. Often that compensation is for the land only and doesn’t take into consideration other things like a resulting decline of property value, a loss of business, difficulty of access, or just a general perception that the land is now worth much less.
That’s where the Carmel-based Law Firm of Sever|Storey steps in, a firm that exclusively represents landowners in the area of eminent domain.
According to partners Phil Sever and Tonny Storey, “No one should give up without getting fair compensation for their property. Sadly, too often people take that first offer and neglect to realize other important claims that can be made.”
“We work for landowners in Indiana, North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio,” state the two legal partners. “We hold agencies – state, federal, local, utility, university, or otherwise – accountable to the landowners whose land they are acquiring. Our entire firm is built around serving the landowner who is facing eminent domain or condemnation.”
The bottom line: Sever and Storey’s only mission is to protect the rights of landowners, whether the taking is large or small. Some cases are settled through mediation, but both partners have extensive experience taking tougher cases to court.
Since opening the firm, Phil and Tonny have the proven ability to win substantial compensation over and above the original offers. While there are never guarantees, there are many success stories, ranging from individual clients to large corporate cases.
Examples include farmers having their crop land bisected by highways, homeowners who are forced to relocate, and landowners being required to have power lines or pipelines placed on their property. The firm has also shown positive outcomes for companies like Affordable Care, KFC, Philip Myers Farms and Delphi Pentecostal.
In many instances landowners feel they cannot afford legal representation. It is the policy at Sever|Storey to provide a free case review. In most instances the firm will work on a contingency basis. This means Sever| Storey only collects a fee if the resulting settlement was larger than the amount offered by the condemning authority.
Phil, a graduate of the Indiana University, and Tonny, a Purdue grad, were both working at other firms when they first met. They soon realized they both had a passion for “fighting for the rights of the little guy, as well as bigger companies and institutions,” says Phil. It was inevitable that they would start a practice together.
As a firm dedicated to eminent domain for landowners, Sever|Storey has quickly expanded to include five attorneys. Besides the main office here in Carmel, the firm has locations in Ohio, Illinois, and North Carolina.
Phil and Tonny see many more cases down the road as “progress” continues. According to Tonny, “Certainly on the local scene there will be some landowner issues regarding the plans to revitalize the heart of Westfield, planned acquisitions of property for an upgrade of the Monon Trail, and the final stages of the I-69 expansion, just to name a few.”
“In an ideal world, landowners are treated fairly from the start. The reality, though, is often different. When that happens we stand ready to step in and fight for what these people really deserve,” according to the partners.
For more detailed information on your rights and possibilities, check our web site landownerattorneys.com