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Are there positive aspects to eminent domain?

On Behalf of | Jun 13, 2020 | Government

Property ownership grants you certain rights. However, in particular circumstances, the government has the right to forcibly separate you from your property according to the principle of eminent domain. There are rules that apply to this practice; the government must have a reason to take your property and offer you just compensation for it. 

If you feel that the government is overreaching its authority by making an eminent domain claim against you or is not offering reasonable compensation in exchange, you have the right to challenge it in court. Before you do so, however, you may want to take a step back and look to see whether the larger benefits of eminent domain might offset the drawbacks. 

Community projects 

According to SF Gate, government entities typically invoke eminent domain when there is a necessary infrastructure improvement to complete. It limits the ability of individual property owners to hold up such a project due to a lack of cooperation. It also prevents a property owner from trying to benefit unfairly from the government’s need for the property. Otherwise, knowing how significant the property is to the government’s long-term plans, the property owner could hold up the project by drawing out the negotiations and asking for more money than the property is worth. 

Public benefit 

There are times when the government abuses its right to eminent domain. However, often the proposed use of the land that the government seeks to take from you is a project that can benefit the entire community, including you. For example, if you frequently get stuck in traffic and the project for which the government seeks to take your property is for a new highway, it may alleviate the traffic problems that cause you difficulties, as well as shortening travel times for your neighbors as well. 

These are theoretical positive aspects to eminent domain. You can take action against an eminent domain claim that you feel is abusive and does not offer sufficient advantages.