The federal government has the power to acquire property under the legal
eminent domain. This power was established in a section of the United States Constitution
known as the “takings clause,” which states, “... nor
shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."
Although eminent domain is primarily associated with this section of the
Constitution and the power of the federal government, eminent domain is
a power of local and state governments as well. Some private entities
can also be granted eminent domain powers, including power companies,
railroads, school districts, and hospitals.
In general, the eminent domain powers of local and state governments will
mirror those of the federal government. As stated in the Constitution,
property must be acquired for public use and the property owner must be
justly compensated. These are the basic principles of eminent domain in
Eminent Domain Powers of California and San Diego Local Governments
As government entities, both the state of California and the local government
of San Diego and other municipalities hold eminent domain powers. Acquisitions
by local governments will differ from those by the federal government
in that the taking of a property will serve a purpose that benefits the
local community rather than a national interest. For example, the federal
government may take a property to build a section of the interstate, while
a local eminent domain case may involve the building of a new park.
Like the federal government, a state or local government will need to ensure
that a property is taken for a public use reason and that the owner of
the property is fairly compensated. Regardless of whether your eminent
domain case involves a federal, state, or local government, it is essential
to keep these rights in mind.
The legal team of Allen, Semelsberger & Kaelin LLP represents people
involved in eminent domain cases and other real estate law matters. Contact
us today to discuss the details of your case.
To schedule a free consultation with our attorneys, complete our
contact form or call 888.998.2031.