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Can the government use eminent domain for any reason?
February 9, 2022
It’s very clear that the government has the power to use eminent domain. This means they can force private property owners to sell that property to the government, even if they were not interested in selling to begin with. This is a controversial process, but it is backed by law.
But can they do this for any reason? Say that the governor wants to build a new house. Can they take your land to do it?
The project needs to be reasonable for public use
The good news is that there are actually a lot of qualifications for eminent domain, one of which is that the project has to be beneficial forpublic use. The government has to show that there is justification for taking the land. Something like building a private home, even for a government official, has no bearing on public use and is not a justifiable use of eminent domain.
What type of public use may trigger eminent domain? Perhaps the most common example is the construction of a road or a highway, which needs to move through the property to continue allowing people to have those transportation options. Other examples may include hospitals, which can provide better medical care to an area where it’s lacking, or schools.
In short, the government has to show that it will benefit society as a whole to use your land in this way. They will then pay you for it.
However, this can become complicated, especially if you feel like they don’t have a valid reason or that it’s not a public use project. You always need to make sure that youknow your rights, especially if you want to fight eminent domain.