Eminent domain is also referred to as condemnation. It is where the government has the right to take over your property and convert it to public use. This has resulted in the conversion of private property into things like parks, courthouses, schools, hospitals, roads and many others. It is important that you have some knowledge about the process so that you know your rights as a property owner.
The right of eminent domain originated from the British legal system which was passed onto the former colonies upon independence. It was enshrined in the United States constitution in 1789. Each state has the sole discretion of determining the reach and limits of this law. They are allowed to set the criteria for determining blight which is the main principle by which the governmental bodies can use to take over property. The use of blight for acquisition of private property was allowed by the US Supreme court in the 1950s. The governmental bodies continue to use this ruling in order to take over private property and convert it for public use.
There have been cases where the state can acquire your property for purely economic gains. This means that the state can force you to move from your land in order to have private developers build more expensive homes which will earn it more in property taxes. The basis for this acquisition is that anything that increases the value of the property that you now own is good for the public. This is a case of eminent domain where you would need to have proper representation in order to resist or to get rightful compensation.
There have been measures put in place in the eminent domain New Jersey provisions that are aimed to protect you as the property owner from exploitation. There are procedural processes that have been enacted in the state constitution that are meant to govern how the state can acquire your property. The state has to prove that your property or a portion of it has been blighted in order to warrant the right to take it over and convert it for public use.
You also stand a chance to resist the exercise of eminent domain by the state if you feel that the governmental body did not follow the rightful procedures. In this case you would need attorney representation in order to identify these areas and give you a chance of fighting back. The instances where you can fight back include when the government takes over your property without proper declaration or without paying you the just compensation. You can go to court to have the condemning authority pay you damages. You will need to explain to the court how the actions of the governmental body have been unjust to you.
If you need to examine the eminent domain New Jersey provisions in more detail.