Eminent Domain

How often has ALDOT deceptively appraised property in condemnation cases?

In the normal course of highway construction or road expansion, ALDOT or municipality will identify what private property they need for a project. Next, they have the property appraised and make an offer based off that professional “appraisal” to the land owner/ Typically, the land owner accepts the government’s word.

However, I discovered deceptive (unlawful?) practice in a case this summer.

The appraiser is supposed to appraise the property at its highest and best use. However, ALDOT appraisers are not, in fact, appraising the property. They are employing a larger parcel (to decrease the per unit value) although the property does not have a unity of highest and best use. This is contrary to the rules of appraisal.

How often has ALDOT advised unknowing landowners of a “valuation” using this deceptive method.