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Eminent domain is a legal process when a public body and some private bodies such as railroads utility companies etc are given the power to take private property for public use It can also be called condemnation The condemner is the public or sometimes private body that has the legal power of eminent domain The condemnee is the owner of the property to be taken The Constitution states that private property may be taken by eminent domain as long as it is for public use and there is a fair compensation This means that the homeowner or landowner will receive fair market value which is current value of the land and any improvements made to it The condemner must be authorized by a statute in order to take the property They must also try to buy the property in good faith If the condemner and property owner cannot agree the matter can be brought to court by filing a petition in eminent domain The condemner will usually have on staff appraisers and attorneys up until the petition has been filed A property owner should also hire an attorney and an appraiser to obtain market value of the property and get their legal rights such as the right to relocation benefits provided by the law When a hearing comes to court the condemner must prove to a judge that they tried to settle the matter in good faith but could not agree with the property owner and that the property is to be taken for public purpose The judge will then decide whether the condemner may proceed The judge will then appoint people who have no interest in the property to determine a fair market value which is known as an award If the condemner deposits the amount of the award to the court heshe then takes the title of the property After 10 days the condemner asks the court to
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