Definition of eminent domain in the Legal Dictionary – by Free online English dictionary pdf hawaii housing authority v midkiff encyclopedia. Meaning of eminent domain as a legal term. What does eminent domain mean in law?
The power to take private property for public use by a state, municipality, or private person or corporation authorized to exercise functions of public character, following the payment of just compensation to the owner of that property. Constitution requires the government to provide just compensation to the owner of the private property to be taken. A variety of property rights are subject to eminent domain, such as air, water, and land rights. The government takes private property through condemnation proceedings.
Eminent domain is a challenging area for the courts, which have struggled with the question of whether the regulation of property, rather than its acquisition, is a taking requiring just compensation. In addition, private property owners have begun to initiate actions against the government in a kind of proceeding called inverse condemnation. The concept of eminent domain is not new. It has existed since biblical times, when King Ahab of Samaria offered Naboth compensation for Naboth’s vineyard.