Eminent domain is the power of the state over all property within the state, expressly the power to involuntarily or voluntarily purchase property for a public use and, in certain cases, private use. The owner of appropriated land is entitled to compensation per the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. This compensation is generally defined as the fair market value of the property. The process of purchasing real estate under eminent domain is referred to as condemnation proceedings.
The Eminent Domain Process
While the eminent domain legal processes can vary significantly between municipalities, basically, the following steps outline the process: