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 ?
With respect to compensation, "where land is expropriated, the expropriating authority shall pay the owner such compensation as is determined in accordance with this Act.
However, it has been seven years since Faraj's land was expropriated and he has yet to receive any compensation, despite the law stipulating that owners should be reimbursed within two months of losing their land.
More than 1,600 properties were expropriated and 614 of them were removed during this stage that was approved a year ago.
Much of Israel consists of houses, land and property expropriated from their Arab owners.
At present, compensations for owners of expropriated land are based on government-assessed current land value with up to 40% of markup, including 20% in Taipei City, 35% in Kaohsiung City, and 40% for other areas.
This ruling confirms the fundamental principle in section 25 of the Constitution, namely that property cannot be expropriated without compensation," Johannes Moller, president of the farmers' group, said in a statement.
government panel studying the issue put the value of Cuba's expropriated U.
Israel expropriated land for Ma'ale Adummim to make it an integral part of Jerusalem.
We reject the principle that our land is expropriated to build more roads," he said.
Lithuania plans to increase compensation packages paid to the Jewish community for property expropriated during Nazi and Soviet occupation from 113 million litas (32.
One of the complications surrounding the project is that its construction would necessitate a lot of private lands to be expropriated from owners.
A total of 50,197 homes had been built for the Jewish population on the expropriated land and none for Palestinians, ACRI said.