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Just compensation is a key element of an eminent domain case

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2019 | Real Estate

It is commonly held that a person cannot get something for nothing. The idea behind this concept is that everything has a cost – from what one gives in their personal relationships to what they literally pay when they choose to purchase a consumer good. All across Tennessee individuals make transactional decisions when they choose how to spend their time, energy and incomes.

To this end, when someone is forced to part with an item of value, they may expect to get something in return. Under the real estate doctrine of eminent domain, the government may not take a property owner’s land without providing that person with just compensation for the taking. However, as readers of this legal blog may expect, a property owner and the government may have very different interpretations of what is “just” under this legal practice.

Generally, just compensation is compensation that makes the deprived property owner whole. That is to say, if the government took a five-acre parcel from a Tennessee resident and that parcel was valued at $150,000, the government should have to pay the individual $150,000 for it. By providing the property owner with the value of their taken land, the property owner is returned to the same relative financial position that they were in when they owned the parcel.

Valuation of property can be a tricky concept and it is often challenged when landowners are forced to part with the properties that they have acquired. When eminent domain becomes an issue for an individual, it can be a good step for them to discuss their legal rights with a real estate and real property attorney. This post does not provide any legal advice and readers are encouraged to seek their own independent counsel.