Eminent Domain Purposes

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1. When does a taking occur for eminent domain purposes? Refer to the Lucas case. Eminent domain refers to the inherent power of the state to take or seize the private property of its individual citizens. Property taken through eminent domain is mainly set aside for the development of public utilities or assigned to a third party who is then supposed to use it for the general good of the public (Larson, 2004). There are generally four types of takings employed by the state through eminent domain. These are: a. Complete Taking – This is where the state seizes an entire property in for public use. In the case of Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council (1992), the plaintiff was entitled to compensation as a result of the complete taking of his land. However the Supreme Court denied him any compensation stating that the restriction imposed on the use of the land was in the interest of the general public due to the intended use of the land. Therefore the Takings Clause does not apply in this case in spite of the economic benefits lost incurred as a result of the complete taking of his property. b. Partial Taking – The state in this case takes a portion of a particular property mainly for the expansion of the existing utilities. The owner of the property is liable for compensation in regard to the piece of land seized and any resulting decline in the value of the remaining property. c. Temporary Taking-The government may require a piece of land to be used as a site when
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