Eminent domain refers to the process by which the government condemns land and takes it for a public purpose. What this means for those impacted is that they can lose their home and should ensure they understand the process and how they can ensure they are treated fairly throughout the process.
In addition to procedural requirements, the two primary concerns when a taking is involved includes if the taking was for a public purpose and if the compensation they are receiving is just compensation.
It is important that those impacted by eminent domain receive notice of the taking. In addition, they should receive a hearing as to what just compensation for the taking of their property is. When the government takes property for a public purpose, the government must pay just compensation. What is considered just compensation is based on fair market value of the property in question. Because there may be some argument about what is considered fair market value, it is important for homeowners and property owners to know how to protect themselves throughout the process.
The government can only take property for a public purpose. There can be some question as to what is considered a public purpose and the homeowner may wish to challenge the government’s asserted public purpose for the taking.
There may also be legal options to try to halt the government action. Eminent domain is a significant power the government has. For that reason, homeowners who are on the receiving end of this power should be familiar with how they can challenge a taking and ensure that it is fair.