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 ?
A statement from Texas Central said the company has built positive relationships with landowners on the rail's proposed route and planned only to use their "legal authority" of eminent domain as a last resort.
Our January 22 meeting began with an eminent domain caselaw update year in review presented by attorney Charles S.
As a basic text, this volume provides a good overview of the field of eminent domain with broad coverage of real estate fundamentals, valuation concepts, and particularly acquisition negotiations, valuation, and asset management.
The meeting started with attorneys for the city explaining that the council would not be voting to take anyone's land by eminent domain.
45) Therefore, the court, by its ruling in Jackson, established that when a government entity in Missouri wants to use eminent domain for economic development, the entity must have a clear non-economic purpose in addition to economic development rationales.
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.
By 1971, the Legislature had codified eminent domain procedures because so many cases were backlogged in the courts.
Historically, eminent domain has been used to destroy communities for projects having nothing to do with economic development, at least as defined in this bill," Nadler wrote, noting that highways would still be allowed to cut through communities under the proposed law.
In 2006, an overwhelming bipartisan majority in the House approved a stronger eminent domain bill, but it was never considered by the Senate.
voluntarily adopt rules to make the exercise of the eminent domain power
reason was going to run an article about touchy developers who sue people for criticizing their abuse of eminent domain.
Alexandra Klass takes the eminent domain reform movement to task for not emphasizing natural resources takings, whereby extractive industries are given the power to condemn land for private enrichment.