Our firm assists clients in the context of expropriation procedures and protects owners in their infringement of their right to property, which is a fundamental right.
It is essential for the expropriated party to be assisted by a Lawyer in all the different phases and stages of the expropriation procedure so that the protection of his property right is ensured in the most optimal way.
Indeed, this particularly complex subject, which presents varied procedural aspects, requires a sharp mastery of both law, but also strategic and technical issues.
The Firm has recognized expertise in the matter and will be able to assist you to ensure the protection of your rights, in the administrative phase as well as in the judicial phase.
Thus, the Cabinet will ensure the legality of administrative decisions relating to expropriation, and, if applicable, undertake all due diligence aimed at contesting them before the administrative judge.
Then, the Cabinet will defend the interests of the expropriated party, either amicably or before the Expropriation Judge so that the latter is compensated for all the damages suffered as a result of the expropriation.
What is expropriation?
Expropriation is the procedure by which a public person (State, local authority, etc.) forces a landowner (natural or legal person) to transfer his property to him, for public utility purposes, and in return for fair compensation.
What are the different stages of the expropriation procedure?
The administrative phase of the expropriation procedure
The public utility of the operation:
The proposed operation justifying the expropriation must necessarily be of a public utility nature.
This concept is paramount and is the subject of abundant case law. Indeed, if it is demonstrated, the operation is not of a public utility nature and may be declared illegal.
Thus, a public inquiry is opened and carried out by an investigating commissioner. In particular, it allows citizens to share their observations and their position on the planned operation.
The investigation commissioner then draws up a report in which he decides on the public utility nature of the project.
It is then that the Prefect (or the Minister as the case may be) takes an act of declaration of public utility.
Each project being different, it is therefore necessary to carry out a careful analysis of the project on a case-by-case basis in order to determine the advisability of a referral to the administrative court.
The plot survey:
The plot investigation can, depending on the case, be carried out during or after the public investigation that we have just mentioned.
As part of this investigation, the investigation commissioner must determine both the plots to be expropriated as well as the identity of the owners (or holders of real rights) affected by this expropriation.
The municipality is required to notify owners by registered mail of the progress of the investigation.
Once this investigation is completed, the Prefect issues an order under the terms of which he declares the properties that are within the expropriation perimeter transferable.
It is appropriate here for the lawyer to ensure in particular the scrupulous respect of all the phases of this investigation, and if necessary, to refer the matter to the administrative judge.
The judicial phase of the expropriation
Transfer of ownership:
Once the project has been declared of public utility and the transferability order has been notified to the expropriated owner, the transfer of ownership of the property can take place.
This can take place amicably, that is to say that the public person and the expropriated party reach an agreement on the compensation that will be paid to the expropriated party.
If no agreement is reached, the public body will refer the matter to the Expropriation Judge to order the transfer of the property. This order is pronounced in the absence of the expropriated party who will only be notified of the decision.
From this ordinance, the expropriated party no longer owns his property, he becomes a simple possessor, so that he can no longer sell or mortgage his property, for example.
However, the expropriated party retains the enjoyment of his property until the payment, by the public body, of an indemnity which must cover all the damages suffered as a result of the expropriation.
The compensation offer:
The public body is required to send, by mail, an offer of compensation to the expropriated party but also to the possible tenant.
This offer must cover all damages suffered as a result of the expropriation.
In the absence of agreement between the public body and the expropriated party (or the tenant), one or the other of the parties may apply to the Expropriation Judge so that the latter fixes the compensation that will be paid.
Before deciding on the amount of the compensation, the Judge will go to the scene and the parties will share, in writing, all of their observations, their assessment of the compensation and will provide supporting documentation in this regard. allowing them to base their position.
It is therefore absolutely essential that the expropriated party and the tenant be assisted in all the phases of this procedure in order to ensure the protection of the property right of the expropriating party and the fair compensation for the damages suffered by the owner. and the tenant.
The Firm will therefore be able to guide you as best as possible in these different procedures, whether it is the administrative phase or the judicial phase and will defend your interests as best as possible in the context of the assessment and payment of compensation, whether it is amicably by leading a negotiation with the expropriating public person, or before the Judge of the expropriation.