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 ?
On review, the state supreme court began by examining the pertinent clause of the state constitution, which states that "[l]aws may be enacted, and any city or county operating under a constitutional charter may enact ordinances" to take property by eminent domain for the redevelopment of blighted areas.
Pacific Legal Foundation has been arguing for decades that government's infringements on private property rights require reform," said Sandefur, who moderates the weblog PLF On Eminent Domain (http://eminentdomain.
Another panelist, Richard Helman, a professor with the New York University Real Estate Institute, warned that overly enthusiastic use of eminent domain might backfire on the development community.
The government in Glendale, Colorado, has now authorized eminent domain to get land that a Texas developer would use to create a large bar/restaurant/ entertainment venue.
In addition to eminent domain matters, Kelly handles other real property disputes, business claims, including fraud and contract lawsuits, shareholder disputes, and other claims between business partners.
She did note, however, that oil pipelines encounter more difficulties with eminent domain than gas pipelines due to common carrier issues.
Currently, companies seeking common carrier status need only to mark a line on a permit application - an honor system that has spurred legal battles over eminent domain claims.
ABOUT THE NC EMINENT DOMAIN LAW FIRM: A division of the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin, the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm is dedicated solely to representing property owners throughout North Carolina, who may be impacted by eminent domain law.
The city now has grabbed headlines for another reason: It has gone further than any other governmental body so far in considering eminent domain to take underwater mortgages out of securitized trusts.
Since being hired in 1975 as an assistant attorney general for the state, he has been involved in scores of eminent domain cases on both sides of the issue.
htm) proposals by local governments to use eminent domain to seize foreclosures and reduce loan balances to provide homeowner relief.
According to the Supreme Court of Kansas, when a court orders distribution of an appraiser's award from an eminent domain proceeding, it may only distribute the award to parties in interest from the proceeding.