What is ‘just’ compensation?

On Behalf of | Feb 10, 2021 | Eminent Domain |

No matter if you’re in New Jersey or Florida, the government has the right to obtain private land to build improvements for the city if they are necessary. This is known as eminent domain, and although not exactly the best law in the books, it is nevertheless a law that everyone must follow. However, homeowners/business owners are provided what is called ‘just’ compensation. This means that the government is to provide you with compensation for your land. Of course, there is so much more to this. Thus the following includes further information on both eminent domain and just compensation.

Eminent domain and the law

Although eminent domain can be found within the “Takings Clause” of the 5th amendment because the framers of the Constitution understood the importance of using land to improve certain areas, the law was included in the document. However, most cases are still heard within the courts if the owners of the property want that to occur. However, an experienced attorney will likely tell you that the government will usually win 9 out of 10 of those cases as the law is very clear.

‘Just’ compensation

As stated above, the framers understood the importance of obtaining land to improve cities and states. However, they also understood the importance of private property. That is why they also added wording that allowed the government to provide ‘just’ compensation for a person’s land. Just compensation simply means that the government needs to provide you with compensation for the land they are taking. The cash value must be that of what the owner would have gotten in the fair market.

Temporary use & criminal activity

In some cases, your city or state government will not use your land to build anything on it. They may use it to store materials, vehicles, or personal but will not have any use for it long-term. In this case, it can become very difficult to value your land, and this is where legal issues are likely to arise. However, if your local police department has evidence that your land was being used for criminal activity, they may take the land without offering you any compensation.

As you can see from the information above, going through an eminent domain can be rather complex. That is why it is always an important step to contact an attorney as soon as you receive notice.