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Why do people oppose eminent domain? 

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2024 | Eminent Domain |

Many property owners are opposed to eminent domain. They may have no desire to sell their land to the government. It will even say that they don’t believe eminent domain laws are fair, although the use of this power is legal when wielded correctly by the government.

In order for it to be used correctly, though, one of the main stipulations is that the government has to offer just compensation to the property owner. They must pay that person what their property is worth on the open market. 

For example, perhaps the government wants to extend an interstate highway system through a person’s personal property, where they have constructed a $500,000 home. The government offers them $500,000 for the property, with the understanding that they can use the money to buy a different house so that the interstate can be completed.

It’s not always about the money

In some cases, there are disputes over eminent domain because property owners think the amount of money being offered isn’t fair. Perhaps the homeowner believes their house has gone up in value to $600,000. With the use of eminent domain, they feel that the government is taking $100,000 from them. 

But there are also many cases where it isn’t about the money. Maybe the home is built on a property that has been in the family for generations. There’s a lot of sentimental value. 

Or perhaps it’s not a family home, but a vacation property. Family members have memories of coming there as children. They don’t want to see that property turned into an interstate, even if they’ve been compensated.

Eminent domain issues can grow complex, so those involved need to know what legal steps to take to best protect their interests.