Issues of Immediate Eminent Domain Seizure Without Appraisals in Ohio

Does Ohio provide the “quick take” provisions of the Ohio eminent domain statutory framework with the ability to acquire property with no real offer being made? At this time, the governmental agency can simply acquire by filing any estimate and proceeding to a condemnation.

Most jurisdictions require an offer of not less than an appraised value prior to the acquisition of property. Generally this is followed by the Uniform Relocation and Assistance Act. In other words, if there is federal funding, the state is first to obtain an appraisal and make an offer of not less than the appraised value.

On the local level, the Uniform Relocation Act is not always required to be followed. Given this, many jurisdictions acquire without any estimate of the amount of compensation, effecting itself of a pre-judgment garnishment.   This blogger wrote about the constitutionality of the quick take almost twenty years ago in the University of Detroit Journal of Urban Law, concluding that a good faith effort premised on reasonable analysis of Just Compensation was enough to comply with the Constitutional mandate.

“And I disagree,” Grayson said. “When your justification is ‘it’s cheaper,’ that’s not a legal reason for taking people’s property.”

ODOT’s only role, says Mike Gramza, ODOT District 2 administrator, is to make sure all federal requirements are followed; 80 percent of the funding is from the federal government. Perrysburg is handling all design work and paying the 20 percent local match.