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How does eminent domain work in Minnesota?

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2023 | Real Estate Law |

Eminent domain is a legal process that allows government entities to acquire private property for public use, provided they provide fair compensation to the property owner.

This practice is important to community development and infrastructure improvement, but may not always seem fair to the property owner.

Public use requirement

To invoke eminent domain in Minnesota, the government must demonstrate that the property’s acquisition serves a legitimate public use, such as road construction, public facilities or urban renewal. This requirement ensures that the practice benefits the community as a whole.

Fair compensation

Property owners have the right to just compensation for their property. This compensation includes the property’s market value and any related costs, such as relocation expenses. The objective is to make property owners whole again after the government takes their land.

Notice and negotiation

Before initiating the eminent domain process,  government entities must notify property owners. Negotiations typically follow, where the government and property owners attempt to reach a fair agreement on the property’s value. If an agreement is not reachable, the government may proceed with the acquisition, but only after following the proper legal procedures.

The legal process

Once the government decides to move forward with eminent domain, it initiates a legal process. This includes filing a legal action to condemn the property. The court will review the case, ensuring that all necessary steps occurred and that the potential acquisition meets the public use requirement.

The state of Minnesota has 19 road construction projects scheduled for central Minnesota, some of which may leave property owners facing an eminent domain notice. Property owners have the right to challenge this action in court if they believe the government is not following the proper procedures or is not offering fair compensation.