Regulatory Taking - United States Law

United States Law

In common law jurisdictions, governments traditionally enjoy police power, under which a government may regulate a variety of aspects of the lives of its subjects.

Under American law, however, this power does not extend to the outright divestiture of title to private property, nor to the de facto equivalent of it. Instead, the power of eminent domain is a separate and distinct power which allows a government to divest a property owner of title to such property for public use, and with just compensation. Some states, not the federal government, use the full compensation standard, not the just compensation standard.

This power is limited in the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and extends to the states under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. (The Fifth Amendment prohibits the federal government from taking property for public use without "just compensation," which American courts have interpreted in the usual case to mean "fair market value".) This prohibition is deemed incorporated in the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (which bars state governments from depriving people of their property without due process of law.)

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