The Uniform Condemnation Procedures Act (“UCPA”), MCL 213.55(3)(a) requires condemning agencies to submit “good faith offers” to purchase before initiating lawsuits to acquire property. In these offers, agencies often fail to consider key information that should increase compensation, such as losses to the business or remainder of the property. In 1996, legislation placed a heavy burden on owners to correct the agencies’ omissions of such information. If owners could not produce detailed writings explaining additional claims by strict statutory deadlines, the claims were barred. Because business losses, partial taking and other just compensation issues are difficult to calculate in the prescribed period, many owners never received compensation they justly deserved. To create a more level field, the 2006 amendment to the statute and Court of Appeals opinion has restored fairness to this process.
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