Eminent domain (sometime called inverse condemnation) is a legal phrase which describes a circumstance when a government entity seizes personal property and then does not pay the property owner as is mandated by the Fourteenth and Fifth Amendments to our United States Constitution.
This is one of my many judgment articles: I'm a Judgment referral expert, not an attorney. This article is only my opinion based on my long term experiences within California, please hire an attorney when you require legal advice.
Within certain jurisdictions, inverse condemnation includes property damage. To get paid, the owner of the property all too often needs to start a lawsuit our government. With these kind of situations, the property owner will be the plaintiff, and that's the reasons such actions is called inverse, as the places of the two sides will be reversed. This situation is in opposite the more common situation of a direct condemnation, when our government becomes the plaintiff, who sues an owner so they can seize the owner's personal property.
When the government takes things, they may be of a physical nature, (for example, floods, the taking of land, removing land access, keeping of an owner's land when a lease to our government has expired, removing access, stopping ground-based support, etc.) or taking because of a regulation (if the laws become so overhanded they cause the property to be by the property owner for any reasonable or economical purposes).
Occasionally, inverse condemnation is just too much and gets a controversy. For example, Pennsylvania Coal Company versus Mahon, 260 US 393 (1922), when the property owner lost marketability and value, removing the benefits of ownership with no payment.
Alas, our U.S. Supreme Court hasn't specified what "too far" means. But, the court has defined 3 circumstances when inverse condemnation happens:
1) Physical-based occupation or seizures.
2) The reduction of a property's value or utility to the degree that it's no longer able to be viable.
3) For a per-condition to issuing some permit, our government demands that a property owner give their personal property to our government, even when there's not a rational reason to do so. An example of this is: Nollan versus California Coastal Co., 483 US 825 (1987).
Because of the 3 circumstances called per se taking by regulation, their ruling whether property was taken is created by a court consideration of 3 issues:
1) The type of government regulation.
2) Any economic effect of a regulation on a property.
3) The degree that the regulations interfere with a property owner's investment-backed or reasonable expectations.
The 3 issues are called the "3-factor Penn Central test", (named after Penn Central Transportation Company versus City of NY, 438 US 104, 124 ). The Penn Central decision was criticized because of it's controversial "taking issue" decision, as its 3-factor approach was so unclear that it made the decision almost impossible for lawyers to know prior to filing their lawsuit, what factors would be ruled decisive by a court, and the way use the 3 factors.
Public utilities such as railroads are given the rights to condemnation (sometimes named eminent domain) by state statutes, and they may become liable for inverse damaging or seizing of property because of their actions. Examples of this include taking property (e.g., supplies for our military forces during war time); intellectual property (e.g., copyrights, patents, etc.); and certain contracts.
Mark Shapiro - Judgment Broker - http://www.JudgmentReferral.com - where Judgments go and are quickly Collected!