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When does eminent domain apply?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Eminent Domain |

The government sometimes needs to take over private property for public use. Fortunately, they can’t just claim a person’s land and take it. Instead, they must go through a process that includes proving that the land needs to be used by the public. They must also pay the landowner just compensation. 

While actual land is one of the more common types of property that’s claimed by the government through eminent domain, it’s not the only thing that can be claimed. 

What property is subject to eminent domain?

Real estate, airspace and waterways can all be claimed through eminent domain. Even contract rights and intellectual property can be claimed by the government. Oil and mineral rights are sometimes subjected to eminent domain. Investment funds, leases and stocks can also be taken in this manner.

Any case of eminent domain is covered under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution. It allows for the seizure of partial property, full property and even temporary use. The key point is that the property owner must be justly compensated. 

The government shouldn’t ever abuse the ability to claim things through eminent domain. There are some limits in place; however, it’s also possible that big business interests will come into the picture. In the past, large companies have tried to use eminent domain to build factories and facilities with claims of increasing tax revenue and creating jobs. This is frowned upon, and it often entails a huge fight.

If you learn that your property is being claimed under eminent domain, you must quickly learn your options. These matters are time-sensitive, so you can’t waste any time. Working with someone familiar with this type of situation is beneficial and may help you obtain a better outcome.