Just Compensation


DEFINITION of 'Just Compensation'

Compensation provided to an owner whose private real property is seized by the government's power of eminent domain, which allows it to take such property for public use. For example, when the national highway system was being constructed in the 1950s, many homeowners had their property seized through eminent domain because the government wanted the land to build the highway system. The just compensation remedy is provided by the Fifth Amendment's taking clause, and is usually considered to be fair market value. However, what the government considers just compensation may not be considered as such by the person whose property is seized.

BREAKING DOWN 'Just Compensation'

One reason why an individual who loses his home to eminent domain may not consider the fair market value of the property to be just compensation is because it does not take into account the time, stress, and expense of locating, purchasing, and moving to a new property. Just compensation also fails to account for the loss of neighborhood social networks or the emotional ties the owner may have to the property.

  1. Payroll

    The sum total of all compensation that a business must pay to ...
  2. Condemnation

    The seizure of a property by a public authority for a public ...
  3. Easement

    The right of one party to use the property of another party. ...
  4. Zoning

    Municipal or local government laws that dictate how real property ...
  5. Property Rights

    Laws created by governments in regards to how individuals can ...
  6. Expropriation

    The act of taking of privately owned property by a government ...
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