Eminent Domain Glossary

ED Glossary

The following are terms that may be unfamiliar in regards to eminent domain. They are words often associated with the eminent domain proceedings.

– someone who appraises the property involved in the eminent domain process, which may include the land and buildings.
this term is often used in place of eminent domain, and it means the taking of the property.
– the ability to enter or exit a piece of property from a roadway
– this term is the actual act of transferring the property from the owner to the government. The property is condemned for public use.
Condemning Authority
– this term refers to the government or a private company that has the authority to take the property in eminent domain proceedings.
– this term refers to the legal right for the government, business or individual to make use of a portion of the property without transferring the title from the property owner.
Eminent Domain
– this power allows the government to take private property even without the consent of the owner for public use or public purpose.
Fair Market Value
– the amount of money a property is worth if sold to a willing buyer at any given time.
Highest and Best Use
– in determining fair market value the best use the property may have is considered even if it is not in use in this manner at the time.
Indirect Damages
– these are the damages that result from having property taken from the owner; it may include costs of moving or loss of income.
Inverse Condemnation
– when a property owner brings a claim against the government or condemning authority for taking possession of property without proper notification or compensation.
Just Compensation
– this is the fair market value of a property or the amount of compensation the property owner is entitled to.
Partial Taking
– this term refers to a case where the condemning authority only takes part of the property in an eminent domain case.
– this includes real property such as land and buildings as well as intangible property such as the air above the land or water that runs through the land.
Public Use
– when the government takes a property in eminent domain, the only reason covered by law is that it must benefit the public rather than an individual.
Public Purpose
– similar to public use, it occurs when the government takes a property to develop it in a way that will benefit the public, such as with parks, schools, roads and other buildings.
Regulatory Taking
– the property is not physically taken from the owner, but regulations are put in place that limit its use. It may not require compensation to be given to the owner of the property.
Severance Damages
– this is compensation paid to the owner for a partial taking of property. The property now has reduced value, which would be the damage resulting from eminent domain.
– this term refers to the government claiming ownership of a property and or interfering with the right of the owner to enjoy the property.
Total Taking
– when the condemning authority takes the entire property through eminent domain.