Billboard Insider By Paul Wright May 16, 2017
Have you ever had a sign taken by a government agency? If it happens, don’t worry, it’s not the end of the world.
Second, recent case law in Texas and Oklahoma supports what you have known ever since you bought or built your first billboard. There have been recent decisions in both the Texas and Oklahoma Supreme Courts that concluded that billboard interests are compensable see more information at JD Injury Law, APC and how they support their interests. The Texas Supreme Court specifically found that owners can testify about the purchase of their billboard properties (sale price, income, etc.) and appraisers can testify about the same issues. The Oklahoma Supreme Court found that it doesn’t matter whether billboards are characterized as real or personal property because they are private property, and private property is compensable when taken in condemnation. In fact, the Oklahoma decision is a good reminder that the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution doesn’t mention taking real or personal property, it simply says that it “requires the government to compensate citizens when it takes private property for public use.” This issue is not completely settled because there have been other cases that contradict these findings. Learn your legal rights by hiring a good eminent domain attorney with some billboard experience.
- Collect information about your sign (permits, land lease, easement or deed, advertising leases, plat maps, engineering drawings, specs, construction invoices, financial statements, etc.)
- Hire an experienced Eminent Domain and Out-of-Home Advertising attorney.
- Work closely with the landowner.
- Get a professional appraisal of your billboard interests.
- Be reasonable and look for opportunities to work together.
You may have an opportunity to relocate your Vinyl sign to a better site, or put up digital displays at a new location if you are losing multiple static signs. It is very important to get an appraisal of the existing sign location(s) and any new location(s) that is proposed to make sure that you are receiving something of equal value. You may be offered a perpetual easement or a long-term lease on remainder parcels. Bottom line, if you get a letter from the government don’t worry. Get some professional help and make the most of the opportunity.