Eminent Domain (ED)
This is the right of the sovereign to take land for a public use. Federal and state governments, as well as utility companies and some other public agencies have the power to take property under these procedures. The declaration that the land is needed for public use is called condemnation. After this declaration the land owners whose land is to be taken are allowed due process of law, meaning they can protect their interests in court. Owners must be given just compensation, based on appraisals and market value, the exact amount usually being decided by a jury.