eminent domain

The power of the nation or a sovereign state to take, or to authorize the taking of, private property for a public use without the owner's consent, conditioned upon the payment of a just compensation. 26 Am J2d Em D § 1. The theory of such power, otherwise known as compulsory purchase or expropriation, is that all lands are held mediately or immediately from the state, upon the implied condition that the eminent domain, the superior dominion, remains in the state, authorizing it to take the same for public uses, when necessity requires it, by paying therefor an equivalent in money. It resembles the ancient prerogative of purveyance whereby the crown enjoyed the right of buying up provisions and other necessaries for the use of the royal household at an appraised valuation, and in preference to all others, even without the consent of the owner. Re Barre Water Co. 62 Vt 27, 30 A 109. See condemnation; just compensation; public use.

Ballentine's law dictionary. . 1998.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • eminent domain — ☆ eminent domain n. Law the right of a government to take, or to authorize the taking of, private property for public use, just compensation being given to the owner …   English World dictionary

  • eminent domain — /emanant dameyn/ The power to take private property for public use by the state, municipalities, and private persons or corporations authorized to exercise functions of public character. Housing Authority of Cherokee National of Oklahoma v.… …   Black's law dictionary

  • eminent domain — noun the right of the state to take private property for public use; the Fifth Amendment that was added to the Constitution of the United States requires that just compensation be made (Freq. 1) • Topics: ↑law, ↑jurisprudence • Hypernyms: ↑legal… …   Useful english dictionary

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  • eminent domain — noun (US) The right of a government over the lands within its jurisdiction. Usually invoked to compel land owners to sell their property in preparation for a major construction project such as a freeway. :: The city council used eminent domain to …   Wiktionary

  • eminent domain — eminent do main n [U] law the right of the US government to take private land for public use …   Dictionary of contemporary English

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