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Q: Sam owns an acre of land on Red River. The government dams the river. A lake forms behind the dam, covering Sam's land. Does the government owe Sam anything? If so, what? If not, why?
A: Yes, The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the US Constitution has been held to require "just compensation" for the taking of private property by the government, [ typically measured as "the market value of the property at the time of the taking". For example, if Sam's land was worth $1,000 at the time of the flooding, then the g'ment would owe $1,000, assuming there was no further value
to having the land (other than an historic deed showing he owns some underwater real estate). However, if Sam's land was worth $200,000 the day before the government announced the dam project, that raises an interesting question of when the "taking" actually occurred. There are sometimes "speculators" who buy land "in the way", hoping to make a buck by selling out early..... ]
uxiali|Points 1587|
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Asked 6/22/2013 11:29:37 AM
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