In New Jersey, the state or federal government can take private property to use it for public purposes if the taking meets the statutory and constitutional requirements. In order to take the property, the government must intend to use it for public purposes and must provide fair compensation to the property owner. When the government intends to take property through eminent domain, it must also provide the property owner with reasonable notice so that the owner has time to seek legal advice and prepare a challenge to the taking.
Challenging the government’s seizure of property through eminent domain
When the government intends to seize property, it must provide a notice to the landowner. The notice will include the purpose for which the government intends to use the property and a proposed compensation amount. The property owner can make a counteroffer, and the two parties might engage in extensive negotiations and mediation. If an agreement cannot be reached, a condemnation action will be commenced.
Property owners can object to the government’s intention to seize their property through eminent domain and the amount the government has offered as compensation for it. If the property owner does not obtain relief through the administrative process, it can file a petition with the court alleging a violation of its constitutional rights.
Eminent domain laws allow governments to seize private property and repurpose it for public use. However, the government cannot seize more property than is needed for the public purpose, and it must provide fair compensation for the property it takes. If the government tries to take more land than it needs or does not intend to use it for a permissible public purpose, the court might find that the taking cannot occur. If the court finds that the government’s offer for the property is unreasonably low, it can also order the government to pay an amount that is fair and reasonable. If the government engages in a partial taking through an easement but later exceeds its permitted use, the property owner can seek injunctive relief or other remedies at that later date.