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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Architecture and Construction. Copyright © 2003 by McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Unfortunately, as the result of Kelo proved, the government sometimes is inefficient in its use of eminent domain. There are other occasions, similar to the one in Kelo, where the government has tampered with the free market by using eminent domain, and the results are detrimental.
While the case--and a subsequent one filed by other banks discussed later in this article--turns on so-called ripeness for the lawsuits, court filings clearly describe the issues in the potential use of eminent domain to take mortgages.
One might think that a broad eminent domain power was either
By 1971, the Legislature had codified eminent domain procedures because so many cases were backlogged in the courts.
Like many other scholars, Miceli concludes that eminent domain is needed to overcome such holdouts.
In 2006, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House approved a stronger eminent domain bill, but it was never considered by the Senate.
We hope the Symposium, and the resulting articles in this Issue, will further the conversation about the use of eminent domain in New York and inspire others to consider the many dimensions of eminent domain and its interplay with, and effect on, surrounding communities.
'The power of eminent domain was never intended to be used as a tool to take private property already being devoted to public use from one person and transfer the same to another person to be used for the same public purpose,' Judge Ignacio said.
As in the past, members of the committee approach eminent domain from varying perspectives.
"Nick, Courtland, Justin and their colleagues are not only eminent domain specialists but are among the region's most respected valuation professionals and adding them to CBRE Jacksonville will significantly enhances our market leadership," said William (Tripp) Gulliford, Senior Managing Director, CBRE Jacksonville.