Condemnation Action Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Condemnation Action, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Condemnation Action?

It refers to the legal action of the public company or the government with the proposal to use a private property for public use such as parks, library, highways etc. The act of proposing a just compansation to the private owner of the place is also accompanied by full rights given to the private owner in the defence of his property.

History and Definition of Condemnation Action

Condemnation action is a legal process to acquire private property with just compensation for public use by the government. This power of eminent domain was granted by the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution. The purpose of the condemnation action is to ensure that citizens have access to land that is useful to the public without interruption. The public entities may acquire private property for the purpose of building public infrastructure like schools, highways, reservoirs, or public parks.

The public entity carries out the condemnation process through a petition filed in court that allows for an inquiry into the just compensation for the property. The property owner can negotiate the compensation, file a response and take it to trial if necessary. In general, the court decides the fair market value of the property, which include any interests that the owner has in it, such as crops or buildings. The condemnation action process provides a way for the government to acquire the needed land with a guarantee of just compensation for the private owner.

Examples of Condemnation Action

  1. A state government petitions to take private land as part of its development plans for constructing a new highway.
  2. A local government seizes a building and demolishes it to construct a public park.
  3. A city files a complaint in court for the acquisition of private property that will be used for the construction of a new school.
  4. A district government wants to build a new municipal water system but requires the acquisition of privately-owned reservoirs.
  5. A county government takes a private property to construct a flood control system to prevent future floods.

Legal Terms Similar to Condemnation Action

  • Eminent Domain: A legal doctrine in the United States that allows the government to expropriate private property that is deemed necessary for public use.
  • Taking: A government’s power to take private property for public use, requiring complete or partial physical possession, or enacting regulatory measures.
  • Just compensation: The required compensation paid to a property owner when the government acquires private property using eminent domain.