There are many questions surrounding the concept of eminent domain and condemnation. Many people don’t know how the process works and how it is legal for local government to seize control of a property that has been purchased by a resident.
What is eminent domain?
Eminent domain gives the government the right to seize an individual’s property and convert it into something for public use. For example, a state’s transportation department often has the right to take the property of a landowner and use the area for road development. While there are laws in place to ensure the government offers “fair market value” for any property it is trying to seize, the government can take the property into condemnation to get it if the owner refuses.
What is public use?
The law of eminent domain was put into place in an effort to build the road system of the United States. The argument was that the greater good would be served with the improvement of parks, sewer systems and other publicly used facilities. Ultimately, public use’s definition is at the discretion of the court if the government can prove that the general public will benefit from the converted land use.
Can the government be stopped?
There are only a limited number of ways that the government can be stopped. The first, and most obvious, is proving that the land will not benefit the general public. The government is responsible for providing proof that it will use the property for public good, and it must prove that it has negotiated in good faith to buy the property for fair value.
A Georgia resident who finds themselves in the middle of an eminent domain case concerning their property may want to immediately contact an attorney with experience in real estate law. This attorney may gather information about their client’s particular case while also referencing past cases to make persuasive arguments in court.