Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Eminent Domain, Negotiation, Agenda

"Eminent domain is the power possessed by governments to take over the private property of a person without his/her consent. The government can only acquire private lands if it is reasonably shown that the property is to be used for public purpose only. Federal, state, and local governments can seize people’s homes under eminent domain laws as long as the property owner is compensated at fair market value."

While rules restrict the government from exercising eminent domain for the benefit of an individual, it can be employed for a community of people or residents of an area. There is potential, then, for people not in agreement with the government's action to be displaced and disadvantaged.

Image Source: http://michaeljwhittenandassociates.com/eminenttdomain.html


  1. Although it sucks to have your house (your whole life's work) taken from you by the government, it is interesting to know that they can't have it for a cheap cost. In Michigan residence can become their own diplomats (or their lawyers)and legally make a claim for the value of their property to the state.

  2. This has been a huge issue lately in St. Louis (my hometown), because of the ways in which property can be taken over even when it is not shown that a community of people will gain advantage. Often, it has been used to put up luxury condos or shopping centers in what were completely well-kept working class neighborhoods. How? By declaring these neighborhoods blighted.
    From the St. Louis Business Journal, Jan 27, 2008:
    "The Missouri Legislature enacted an almost meaningless new law that says the government can't use eminent domain "for solely economic development purposes," but it allows bureaucrats to continue seizing land declared "blighted." That's a term so vague that government can use it to refer to whatever land it wants."

    Also, about six months ago a man who painted a huge mural on the side of his building (which happens to face one of the highways downtown) lost his case against the City of St. Louis, which ordered that his mural, which reads "End Eminent Domain Abuse" is illegal and violates city signage laws. To be appealed.