How Eminent Domain DIffers from Inverse Condemnation
What is Eminent Domain?
The official definition of eminent domain is The right of the government to take possession of a privately owned piece of real estate for public use.
Eminent domain is a right protected within the words of the constitution allowing the government to take ownership of a privately-owned (citizen-owned) piece of property. This right to eminent domain is protected in the Fifth Amendment of the Constitution. For states, the protection comes under the 14th amendment.
In some cases, a private party may be awarded eminent domain if the local government feels that the developing party is constructing something that is for the greater good of the community as a whole. For example, if a large factory is going to come into an area and increase jobs as well as industry and the economy.
The Exact Definition of Condemnation
The term condemnation has been used interchangeably with eminent domain and as such is sometimes confused as being an exact synonym for eminent domain.
The official definition of condemnation is- The procedure used by a public or private party/power/entity that has an authoritative right under eminent domain to take property that is privately owned for public uses or uses that will serve the community as a whole.
So the difference between eminent domain and actual condemnation is that eminent domain gives the right or power to take land while condemnation is a term used to describe the actual action or process of taking the land.
This is also different from a property being condemned, which is the classification of a property being deemed unfit for a human to safely live. A property classified as condemned means that certain fixes need to be made before it is safe and habitable. (Another way that the term condemnation can become confusing.)
So to sum it up, condemnation is the PROCESS of the government taking privately owned land for public use.
The Definition of Inverse Condemnation
Knowing that condemnation is the actual process used to enforce a right to eminent domain, it is good to know that there are different types or classifications of condemnation. The most concerning of these is Inverse Condemnation.
The official definition of inverse condemnation: The event in which the government takes possession of a privately owned property and does not pay anything for the property to its current owner or fails to pay fair compensation. (Pays less than the property is worth)
If the property owner feels the government has not fairly dealt with them in taking possession of their property, they have a legal right to challenge these unfair dealings. A property owner has the ability to sue for a fair market value compensation of their property. The entire process of government seizure and the property owner bringing the matter to court is referred to as the process of inverse condemnation.
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