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Easement by Condemnation

DEFINITION

Easement right gained by the government through eminent domain.

EXPLANATION

An easement by condemnation refers to the right of the government to acquire land for a public purpose through eminent domain.

Potential scenarios where easement by condemnation would be utilized by the government include: railroad right of way, transmission lines, piping, electrical grids, etc. In these scenarios, the user of the land will likely be responsible to compensate the landowner for use of the land and the reduction in property value. Property value would decrease because of increased activities on the property which would reduce the landowner’s full enjoyment of the property.

Condemnation and Eminent Domain

The government has the right to condemn or confiscate a private property if the use is for the public. To do this, the government must compensate the party whose property is being taken away. Condemnation allows the government to both take possession and title of the property being confiscated. In other words, the previous private land owner forfeits their entire property bundle rights. This is unlike inverse condemnation whereby the government alters the land use without taking legal title.

Condemnation cases as explained above must be for public purposes. A public purpose includes uses such as roads, bridges, infrastructure, schools, hospitals, government buildings and others. Public use also can be for things that are meant to revitalize a city.

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