Fifth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States1 limits the government’s eminent domain powers to projects for “public use.” In recent years, since the 2005 Supreme Court decision of Kelo v. City of New London,2 the term “public use” has been more liberally interpreted as “for the good of the public.” In many situations, large commercial developments can bring in tax revenue, create, jobs, and otherwise stimulate the economy of a municipality and, therefore, many private developers have argued that using eminent domain to obtain property for their projects is appropriate and constitutional. This has led to a substantial amount of landowners in Indiana and throughout the U.S. to lose their homes and their property.

Opponents generally consider the use of condemnation for purely commercial gain to be an abuse of eminent domain powers. However, in Indiana, the government has the power to take private homes and small businesses to build sports stadiums, shopping malls, and industrial developments. If your home is threatened by a condemnation action for a commercial development, you should have an experienced eminent domain lawyer evaluate your case as soon as possible.

Perhaps one of the most notorious proponents of widespread eminent domain powers is Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Trump has admitted that he believes that tearing down homes for commercial developments is justified and his company has taken advantage of the opportunity to do so many times over the years. Once, he wanted to build a parking lot outside of his Atlantic City casino exclusively for limousines and he used eminent domain powers to take homes from an elderly widow and two other landowners3 who did not voluntarily sell their properties. The owners were compensated for only a fraction of what they paid for their land.

Contact an Indiana condemnation attorney for a free consultation today

With individuals in the public touting the value of eminent domain, it becomes even more important to ensure that unlawful condemnation cases are challenged. An experienced condemnation lawyer can advise you of your rights and options and help ensure you receive just compensation if your land is taken. Please call the law office of Sever Storey, LLP at 888-318-3761 today.

1 https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/fifth_amendment

3 https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/19/donald-trumps-eminent-domain-nearly-cost-widow-house