In this case, “the government must prove that it tried to negotiate the sale and that the takeover is for public use. If the government wins, an appraiser establishes fair market value and the property owner is paid and evicted,” (Bryant n.d.). In cases like KELO et al. v. CITY of NEW LONDON et al., the property owner refused to sell and the matter went to court. In most cases, the government succeeds in expropriating the land but is still required to offer market value compensation for the seizure.
Leung (2004) notes that eminent domain is easily abused. “Cities across the country have been using eminent domain to force people off their land, so private developers can build more expensive homes and offices that will pay more in property taxes than the buildings theyre replacing,” (Leung 2004). The law has even allowed for private organizations to invoke eminent domain: “the power may be delegated as well to private corporations, such as public utilities, railroad and bridge companies, when they are promoting a valid public purpose. Such delegation has long been approved,” (“National Eminent Domain Power,” n.d). However, the law occasionally protects the rights of citizens.
For example, a recent bill was passed in the Nevada State Senate that ended “the authority of the states mining and defunct sugar beet industries to invoke eminent domain to take private land for their own use,” (Weinstein 2011). In this case, the industries and their needs were deemed “antiquated,” (Weinstein 2011). Although the government can and often does abuse the power of eminent domain, it must nevertheless prove that the condemning and appropriation of the land is just.
Bryant, C.W. (n.d.). How eminent domain works. Retrieved online: http://money.howstuffworks.com/eminent-domain1.htm
“National Eminent Domain Power,” (n.d.). Retrieved online: http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data/constitution/amendment05/14.html
United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD 2011). Eminent domain. Retrieved online: http://www.hud.gov/offices/pih/centers/sac/eminent/
Weinstein, D. (2011). Bill ending eminent domain powers of mining industry clears Nevada Senate. CB Online. Retrieved online: http://www.canadianbusiness.com/markets/market_news/article.jsp?content=D9LSLQMG0.