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When the government can seize private property

Homeowners in California are generally entitled to defend their property against parties that are attempting lay claim to it. However, there are some rare circumstances where the government can seize property from a homeowner. Depending on the reason the property is being seized, the government may or may not be obligated to compensate the property owner financially.

The government may take property from a homeowner through a forced sale using eminent domain. This usually happens when the government makes a decision to build a new public structure or road over privately owned property. The government may also seize private property if the property has been abandoned for a long enough period.

If an investigation leads to allegations that property was being used for criminal activity, the government may seize the property without compensating the property owner. Before this can happen, police would need to have enough evidence to prove that the property was connected to criminal activities. One example of this type of government seizure is when a property is allegedly being used for illegal drug distribution or manufacturing.

A property owner may file a claim against police if their property was wrongfully seized during an investigation. To strengthen the claim, the property owner may present evidence that the seizure caused them to suffer an undue financial and personal hardship. An individual who has had their property seized as part of a criminal investigation or because the government believed it was abandoned might want to speak with a real estate litigation attorney. An attorney may be able to help the property owner to file a claim for financial compensation or seek the return of their property.

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