eminent domain

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eminent domain,

the right of a government to force the owner of private property sell it if it is needed for a public use. The right is based on the doctrine that a sovereign state has dominion over all lands and buildings within its borders, which has its origins in the landholding system under feudalismfeudalism
, form of political and social organization typical of Western Europe from the dissolution of Charlemagne's empire to the rise of the absolute monarchies. The term feudalism is derived from the Latin feodum,
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. Eminent domain is implicitly enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, which in the Fifth Amendment requires that private property not be taken for public use without just compensation. The process of acquiring private property by eminent domain is known as condemnation.

Eminent domain traditionally has been used by governments to condemn land for building roads, schools, goverment buildings, and the like. The right of eminent domain may also be assigned to public and private corporations engaged in activities regarded as benefiting the public, such as the development of port facilities, the building of a canal or railroad, or the redevelopment of a blighted area. In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court, in Kelo v. the City of New London, ruled that the Connecticut city had the right to condemn unblighted private property and transfer it to another private owner for development even if the only public benefit might be increased employment and tax revenues. Public outcry over the decision subsequently led most states to adopt legislation or constitutional amendments that limited, in varying degrees, the ability of state and local governments to use eminent domain to condemn private property for use by a private corporation. At the same time, some government officials and private developers raised concerns over how the laws and amendments would affect their ability to undertake large-scale development projects.

See also public ownershippublic ownership,
government ownership of lands, streets, public buildings, utilities, and other business enterprises. The theory that all land and its resources belong ultimately to the people and therefore to the government is very ancient.
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eminent domain

The power of the state to appropriate private property, usually for public use and with the payment of compensation to the owner.
References in periodicals archive ?
That was my first contact with takings law, and the joy was unalloyed.
such regulations often are not compensable under existing takings law.
This approach flouts the basic logic of the takings law, which holds that we should always look to the loss of the owner and not to the gain of the state or those with whom it deals.
To better understand the Tahoe-Sierra decision, and its impact on temporary takings law, it will be useful to review three key takings tests: the general test outlined in Penn Central Transportation Co.
The result of this citation to Euclid, Nectow, and Goldblatt, however, was the accidental incorporation of the substantive due process substantially advance standard into takings law.
Of far greater interest to Kelman is an argument that extends current takings law by recognizing the inherent legitimacy of both taxation and regulation, but restricts the latter to cases is which there is some demonstrable market failure.
The premise of a progressive approach to takings law is that ownership is not merely a bundle of rights, but also a social institution that creates bonds of commitment and responsibility among owners and others affected by the owners' properties.
On this point, the argument of this Case Note differs significantly from those of other commentators who have argued for the greater use of nuisance and takings law based on current property rights (whether in land or water) to protect the environment.
It demonstrated who really stood to gain from the takings law, and environmentalists hit hard on the $300 million to $900 million per year the measure would cost the taxpayers.
Washington passed the first new takings law in 1991 as part of its growth management act, requiring the attorney general to adopt guidelines to help state and local government agencies evaluate proposed regulations that might effect a taking.