Can Eminent Domain Be Used for Private Use?

Although to some it might seem inherently wrong for the government to take a private citizen’s property and give it to a private entity, that can indeed happen. The United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. New London, a landmark Supreme Court case in 2005, established the principle which allows the government to take one person’s property and give it to another private entity in order to spur economic development. However, regardless of that principle, the government must still prove that the taking is for “public use.”

            It should be noted that the phrase “for private use” in this context refers the conveyance of private land to another private entity for a public use through the means of eminent domain procedure. Regardless of who eventually owns the property, the government must still prove that the taking was for a public use. The Kelo case, mentioned above, states the extent to which the government can go. However, in North Carolina, the government has restricted their ability to take property for private use through the Urban Redevelopment Law.

            Even though North Carolina has restricted when the government can take property through the Urban Redevelopment Law, it has still expressly given the power to take private property to certain private entities such as utility companies, railroads, local governments, and other public transportation providers. (Such as but not limited to union bus lines) The courts in North Carolina have generally placed the power of eminent domain in the state government. This means that the state government can authorize certain private entities to use eminent domain to take property.

            If a private entity has approached you about taking your land either through negotiations or condemnation, you should consult with a local eminent domain attorney immediately. Here at Chad Brown Law, P.L.L.C., we strive to fight for property owners’ rights regardless of how big or small the opposition is.

Our firm focuses on three practice areas: Disability, Personal Injury, and Eminent Domain. Every practice area has attorneys who have expertise in their respective area of practice. 

Chad Brown is a North Carolina Board Certified Social Security disability law specialist. Mr. Brown helps Social Security disability claimants at all stages of the disability process. He also works with people that have Long Term Disability denials and with people that are injured by drugs and defective medical products.

Your Questions Answered

How Can Eminent Domain Be Used?

            Typically, the government or a public utility will attempt to use eminent domain in order to complete a project. The authority that seeks to use eminent domain activates its right to eminent domain...

read more

How Does the Eminent Domain Process Work?

The process for exercising eminent domain will vary depending on who the condemning authority is. For example, in North Carolina, the process for a private entity condemning property is different from the standards and procedures that the North Carolina Department of...

read more

Can Eminent Domain Be Used to Take Personal Property?

To adequately answer the question, it is necessary to define what “personal property” is first. Personal property includes property that is both tangible and intangible which is not permanently attached to land. Tangible property is physical in nature. Meaning that...

read more