What is the difference between eminent domain law and relocation benefits law?

Eminent domain is used by the government when it needs to acquire private property to accommodate a public improvement project, such as building a road, school, hospital, airport or utility lines. This may result in the government taking some or all of a person’s property for that project. Relocation law is used when the government needs to force a tenant, homeowner or business owner to move from the property that they occupy. This generally occurs when the government needs to acquire the entire property that the person occupies. Both the United States and Minnesota Constitutions require the government to pay a property owner fair market value to take their property via its power of eminent domain. However, what the government thinks is fair market value may be far less than the actually fair market value of the property being taken. Both Federal and State law require the government to provide relocation benefit payments to persons it forces to move from the property they occupy for a public improvement project. While relocation law is similar to eminent domain law, the types and amounts of payment due to the person being forced to move is completely different than when the government uses its power of eminent domain to take property. If you are facing eminent domain or are being forced to relocate, contact us to make sure you are getting the best compensation for your property.