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 ?
- Draft government decree expropriating for public use parcels of land located in the delegation of Sidi Bourouis (Siliana) necessary for the construction of a dam at Oued Dmaiem
The process of expropriation also requires that "an expropriating authority shall not expropriate land without the approval of the approving authority." (38) Not surprisingly the approving authority for boards of education are boards of education.
Prior to the Elon Moreh ruling, the Israeli High Court held that expropriating Occupied Territory private property for a security or civilian settlement was prohibited under international law (the Hague Convention), while temporary requisitioning was legal.
In 1967 Israel annexed Jerusalem, expropriating 6,200 acres or a third of the area that was privately owned by Arabs.
The Tokyo High Court on Thursday overturned a lower court ruling that barred the Tokyo metropolitan government from expropriating land in Akiruno, rejecting landowners' demand for annulment of the planned expropriation and the withdrawal of state approval for a project to construct an expressway interchange on the land.
Even then the mobs that attacked and despoiled Jews were often led by nobles and higher clergy who saw opportunities for expropriating property or evading repayment of debts to Jewish creditors.
If the war,as the peace movement said, was about expropriating Iraq's oil and everything else the nation possesses, then how can we be a stab ilising force for peace?
Governor [James] McGreevey called the extensions prudent, humane, and necessary." CORRECTION: For liberals, being humane is to be adept at expropriating and redistributing other people's wealth.
Farmers have also staged demonstrations to protest the government order expropriating their land for the new airport.