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While governmental bodies may use eminent domain to seize land for the public’s benefit, property owners may file inverse condemnation actions when they do not receive just compensation for the land that is taken. Landowners must receive fair compensation from the government whenever their property is seized through eminent domain processes. While eminent domain is initiated by the government, inverse condemnation is initiated by property owners who have not been fairly compensated for the land that has been seized.
Eminent Domain Rules
Property owners enjoy constitutional rights against seizures of their property by the government under the Fifth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, eminent domain has been recognized as an exception to this right under both federal and Nevada state law. Nevada has established laws about when the government can exercise eminent domain to seize property and how the process works. The government can seize property to use for the public’s benefit. However, it must fairly compensate property owners for the property that is taken. When property owners do not receive reasonable compensation from the government for their seized land, they may file inverse condemnation actions.
Understanding Inverse Condemnation
Inverse condemnation refers to a legal process by which landowners may sue the government for fair compensation for the lands that they have lost. This action may be filed when the government seizes a portion of property outright or when its actions result in an effective seizure of a portion or all of a piece of property. For example, if a government redirects a waterway in such a way that it causes a landowner’s property to flood, it could be considered an effective seizure of the landowner’s property. Inverse condemnation actions provide a way for landowners to recover the compensation they should receive for the loss of use or ownership rights of the affected land.
To prove an inverse condemnation claim in Nevada, property owners are required to show several things. They must prove that taking of the land and their real or personal interests in it occurred. They must also show that the land was seized for the public’s use without receiving just compensation. The seizure must have been proximately caused by the actions of a governmental agency in the absence of formal eminent domain procedures. Inverse condemnation actions can be complex because of the types of evidence that may be needed to prove these elements.