Public Purpose Property Rights in MN

Local, state, and the federal government all have the right to take title to any property that is needed for legitimate public purposes. Examples of legitimate public purposes are highways, airports, schools and parks, and redevelopment of rundown areas. However, if a landowner believes the government is taking land which is not needed for legitimate public purpose, a landowner may challenge the taking. If the landowner can show that the government can accomplish its purpose without taking the land, or that the government’s project does not benefit the public, the government will not be allowed to take the land. If a landowner wants to challenge a proposed condemnation, a hearing is required, and the court will make a decision on whether the government’s purpose is legitimate. This hearing is held early in the court proceedings, and is held before any issues regarding the value of the land are determined.

Even if the landowner loses at the hearing to determine public purpose, the issue of fair compensation remains. Although the owner is allowed to testify about the value of the property taken, the really becomes a battle of the appraisers, who provide their opinions of the value of the property, and jury decides the value of the property taken.

Damages can also be awarded for relocation, loss of access and other types of loss.

For more information about taking property for public purposes contact Kallemeyn & Kallemeyn.