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Eminent Domain

By | March 2007
Page 1 of 3
Eminent Domain

Eminent Domain is the inherent power of the state to take over a citizen's property for public use without the owner's consent. This is commonly done when the acquisition of property is needed for the completion of a project. These projects can be for transportation such as highways or bridges or even for buildings such as schools or government buildings. This excerpt states that ''The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution says 'nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.' This is a tacit recognition of a preexisting power to take private property for public use, rather than a grant of new power.''160 Eminent domain ''appertains to every independent government. It requires no constitutional recognition; it is an attribute of sovereignty.''(NATIONAL EMINENT DOMAIN POWER) 160 This states that eminent domain is above the Fifth Amendment by the government. Some states first offer compensation for the property before the use of eminent domain but even though compensation is usually a part of this process, the amount paid to these people is far less than what the property is really worth but they must take it since the power of eminent domain will usually force then to give the property up no matter what.

The civil engineer definitely plays a role in eminent domain. The engineer has a duty to both protect the individual citizen's property and also to promote development on property under consideration for the benefit of the public at large. First ethically it is right to offer compensation for the public property and then the property is appraised. But the compensation monetary value should not stop here. One should also look at the impact that this land will make in the future or the full compensation of the land. This is when the civil engineer takes part by going out and evaluating the land at the same time working closely with the property appraisers and others important to come up with the full...

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