Limits on the Right to Take

There are many common and not-so-common situations where a public entity may not have the power of eminent domain.  These include: Property sought is outside the public entity’s territorial limits. Staff might propose to acquire property outside the public entity’s territorial limits. Extra-territorial takings are permitted in only certain circumstances. Property sought is in excess…

Practice Tip to Avoid the Potential for Precondemnation Damages

This is a practice tip to avoid the potential for precondemnation damages.  In all project documents, refer to future land acquisitions in noncommittal, tentative, conditional language. Examples: “The proposed acquisition” “The acquisition under staff consideration” “The recommended acquisition” “No decision has been made to acquire the property” “Only the governing board can make the decision…

A Brief History of Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is the power of government to take private property for a public purpose without the owner’s consent. The power of eminent domain is invoked only after every effort is made to acquire property through negotiation with the property owner and only as a last resort. The power of eminent domain is inherent in…