September 2020


Eminent domain is the power that the US government, states, and municipalities can use to acquire private property for public use while compensating the land with compensation. It is a right that the US government can use to usurp any private property in the US for public use while providing fair compensation that the property owner agrees with. Any property from airspace to land and intellectual property can be made public under the eminent domain right. In the legal issues where the owner is not fairly compensated or has no intention to give the property away, the government can be condemned for abuse and can be protested.

Eminent domain is the government’s right under the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution, under which the property is taken through condemnation proceedings. The owner can challenge the condemnation for a fair market value needed for compensation of the property. Common examples of condemnation are land and buildings that are needed to be used or replaced for public projects.

Eminent domain abuses

Eminent domain abuses

The government may require a property acquired by a citizen for the construction of a public project, which can be building highways, trade centers, parks, etc. Eminent domain can only be used for improving the city and making the property publicly available. But the citizens have reported the abuse of eminent domain by the big businesses. The big businesses are seizing the land of the citizens by promising more jobs and a boost in tax revenues. Seizing private property from citizens has become abuse. The people are enraged by the idea that such big businesses are condemning the homes and small businesses to promote private development. Several states have passed new laws to consider the demands of the citizens to prevent such eminent domain abuse.

What is inverse condemnation

What is inverse condemnation

When the government fails to provide fair compensation for private property, the owner of the property can reject the offer. The citizens can sue the government under inverse condemnation for taking the property without providing fair compensation. They have been used to address the problems of water pollution and environmental problems that are caused by the projects running under the government. For example, a property given to the government is now running an electrical plant, but the electrical utilities have been found responsible for causing economic damages to the locality by starting a wildfire. Similarly, any damage caused to the people by these projects from the government can be compensated under inverse compensation. The government will have to pay for the damages caused to the area by their projects if they are held and proved accountable for the damage.

While eminent domain is a right that the US government, states, and municipalities have to take away private property from citizens for public use, it is a complex right that works in favor of the citizens today. With the right awareness, a citizen can rightfully protect their private property from trespassers and such legal abuses.

There can be many new projects around your city in its development stage, which requires a lot of areas that can be public or private property. When an area of land is own by a citizen, the government will need to negotiate with the owner to buy the property with reasonable compensation. While not everyone faces such conditions, but if you are living near a developing area which can become the future airport in your city, you may hear from the government soon. The government will either negotiate with you for the property or will attempt other means to occupy your property if you refuse. That is why you need to be prepared to deal with the government if you sense that they are definitely going to try their best to get your property.

The eminent domain gives the right to the government to take private land from their legal owners for public use. The property owners rarely get successful in stopping the government from taking away their lands. However, citizens have the full right to receive fair compensation. The majority of the citizens who try to compensate for the land are successful in receiving a better deal from the government.

How powerful is Eminent Domain

Eminent domain entitles federal and state governments as well as the municipalities to take the property that is required for legitimate public use. Remember that the court will speak in favor of the government in most cases if their pitch for using the land for public use seems legit. Under the Fifth Amendment of the US constitution, the government will have to make fair compensation for the property, and if the owner is not satisfied with it, they will need to renegotiate. From this, we understand that property owners should use their time and energy to receive better compensation than having to object to the government.

What to do

What to do?

When the government picks your property for development, you will get notified by mail or by a direct agent. Before anyone from the government’s side makes an offer, an appraiser will visit your site to check the size and condition of your property. The appraiser will assess the condition and size of the property. You will also receive a copy of the appraisal. Review the copy carefully and check all the points made as it will help you in determining your compensations and leading your negotiations.

As a property owner, you will always have a better position to negotiate compensation. The government is always prepared to offer more than the initial amount offered. There are different procedures for negotiations in different states. You will need to learn how the negotiation takes place in your state. Take the help of a lawyer to understand how the procedure works. If you do not like the price offered by the government, you can condemn the deal and submit a counter offer.