Can you challenge the ‘public use’ aspect of eminent domain?

On Behalf of | Sep 12, 2023 | Eminent Domain |

Many property owners who challenge eminent domain focus on ensuring that they receive just compensation for property taken. But if the government is threatening to take your property, then you might be wondering if there’s a way to stop them altogether.

Doing so can be difficult, but it might be possible in your case depending on the facts.

Assessing ‘public use’ in an eminent domain case

Before your private property can be taken by the government, it must be shown that the taking is for the benefit of the public. The taking doesn’t have to benefit the entire public in order to be justified under the law, and instead can benefit just a sub-sector of the community.

Also, the Supreme Court has interpreted the public use requirement broadly, even going so far as to say that the taking of private property for the purpose of building for-profit developments was justified when it fell in line with the community’s long-term economic plan.

So how do you challenge ‘public use’ in an eminent domain case?

Your best bet is to try to draw a direct line between the taking and purely private interests. If you can do that, then you can take it outside the realm of public benefit.

In order to successfully do so, though, you’re going to have to secure and present evidence that establishes the true purpose of the taking and identifies who will really benefit from it. This can be difficult to do, but your attorney’s use of the subpoena power can be helpful here.

Don’t get taken advantage of in your eminent domain case

You’ve worked hard to secure your property. Don’t let the government rip it away from you unjustifiably. Instead, be prepared to fight for the outcome that you want and deserve. If you want to learn more about how to do that, then please continue to read our website and our blog, and educate yourself more fully on the eminent domain process.

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