An eminent domain attorney practices law in the field of real estate and handles cases that involve the expropriation of private property by the government. Eminent domain is one of the three inherent powers of the State, along with police power and taxation. Essentially, the government has the right to claim property (with adequate and just compensation) that is privately owned by US citizens. They have the power to do this with or without the permission of the owner. This process is known as eminent domain. Eminent domain attorneys are hired by property owners to deal with the government in its exercise of eminent domain laws. Legal questions typically arise with the valuation of the private property in question or the necessity of converting said private property from public to government use. The power of eminent domain primarily rests in the hands of the legislature. The legislature may, however, delegate its power of eminent domain to another governmental body, or to private corporations promoting a valid public purpose. While the exercise of eminent domain is generally limited to real property, the government may also condemn personal and intangible property. The Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution, also known as the “Takings Clause,” recognizes the government’s power to allocate private property for public use, so long as the government pays “just compensation” to the owner.
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