Land seizure is one of the most controversial types of action that a government can take in California and has been happening for centuries. Individuals lose their farms, homes and livelihoods when the government decides to seize lands. In addition, the act of land seizure, intended to benefit the communities, can be used in vindictive and illegal ways. As a result, centuries of laws and legal principles exist to protect landowners from unfair seizures.
The power of eminent domain is well-established in American and European history. According to this rule, the government has the ability to take any person’s land for any legitimate reason with compensation. The restrictions they have to meet are related to the idea of due process.
The Fifth Amendment prohibits the government from taking a person’s land without due process. This process requires all governments to follow the procedure for every individual or company that may be losing their land. The most common example of eminent domain is the process by which the government purchases land to build roads and undertake other infrastructure projects.
Rules and responsibilities
The land seizure process can be enormously complex and difficult for every party involved. A project may have to purchase land from thousands of people and businesses. This purchase could cause decades of real estate litigation for the parties involved. Therefore, the most common approach governments take to land seizures is to be somewhat generous with the purchase prices.
Governments pay people at or above market value for the land they purchase. Hopefully, these funds will mollify them for their losses and cause them to sign any relevant documents quickly. A landowner could also hire a lawyer and negotiate for even more money. In many ways, the land seizure process for most people can be considered the best process they have ever experienced.