Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Eminent Domain, blog post two
It’s beginning to get late a Tuesday afternoon, and as you walk through the threshold to your sanctuary, you catch a whiff of delicious roast beef that is baking and emitting its delightful smell throughout the rest of your home. As the view of your beautiful wife smiling brighter then shining evening sunset radiating through the window brings pure joy to you day, you notice an envelope sitting on the table, from your local government agency. The sight of the big red letters “DO NOT DISCARD, IMPROTANT NOTICE” forces you open the letter. As you begin to read the only thought that passes through your mind is how much this is going to hurt your significant other, who has since her childhood intertwined her life’s story into the wall she called home. The letter specifies the local government agency under Eminent Domain were going to pay you for your piece of real estate, and that the land was going to add to the black sea of roads connecting one side of your town to the other.
What exactly is Eminent Domain? Julian Diaz, and J. Andrew Hansz, coauthors of Real Estate Analysis, Environment and Activates, defines eminent domain as the right held by the government to take a real property from private civilians. The act of the government exercising the right to take real property is condemnation. Although you might be thinking to yourself, “since when did I sign up for a communistic government?”; the reality is that there are very strict reasons and guidelines stating why and what a government must do when imposing condemnation. The US first condemned piece of real-estate was Kohl vs. United State in 1876 in Cincinnati, Ohio. This court case ruled that the government could seize the land because the land was going to be used as government building.
It is important to understand that there are there key guidelines for a government to condemned a piece of real estate. The first is the land must be intended for the public. Historically public uses have ranged anywhere from public roads/highways, to public schools, parks and government buildings. In addition for the government to use eminent domain it must pay what is considered just compensation, for the piece of land. Just compensation is defined as the property market value at, at its highest and best use, at the time of the taking. The origination for just compensation came from the U.S constitution Fifth Amendment stating, “nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation”. Lastly if the landowner feels that he/she is being taken advantage or and not receiving just compensation or the land is not going to be used for the good of the public, he may sue the government agency, and have a court oversee the government overtaking. This is known as due processing.
Currently in California landowners in the central valley are learning first hand, what eminent domain is. In 2008 California voters, approved the high-speed rail systems, which when completed would take passengers from Northern to Southern California. Like many interstates it has been decided that the most efficient was for the rail to move is through specific valley residents. According to ABC 7 News, many farmers, business, and homeowners are suing through due processing, stating that the high speed real, need to pay for justly not only for the land but also damages and lost of potential gains form operations and rents. Currently many farmers and land owners are feeling frustrated an confused, not certain what is going to happen to their piece of land.
Looking at the broader picture the government has the right to take the land because it benefits the public. This train will allow for quick and simple migration form on part of the state to the next. In addition this will create jobs, which intern help the public, while increasing the amount of taxable income.
Diaz lll, Julian , and Andrew Hansz. Real Estate Analysis: Environments and Activities . 1st ed. Dubuque : Kendall Hunt Publishing Company, 2010. 165-168. Print.