It can be alarming and troubling when an owner finds out that their property may be subject to a taking by the government. Property owners may wonder what the rules are for a taking. They may also need an understanding of what the public use requirement is all about. In some cases, they may want to mount a legal challenge to a taking through the eminent domain process.
Public use requirements
There are a number of requirements the government must meet before it can condemn a piece of property. One is that the condemnation is for a public use. In general, a public use is considered a use that confers a benefit or advantage to the public. This means that the owner may be able to challenge eminent domain if the only party benefitting from the taking is a private party. For instance, it may not be acceptable for the government to take a property and give it to a private real estate developer in order to build a factory.
Common examples of what may be considered public use include freeways and other infrastructure projects intended for public use. The requirement is not necessarily that the benefit arise from direct use by the public or that the public at large is benefited. A benefit to a small section of the public may be enough to satisfy the requirement.
When property is subjected to a taking, property owners have important rights. They can speak to an experienced real estate attorney to learn more about their rights and how they may be able to fight for their property.