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American Bar Association

Eminent Domain Compendium


The laws and procedures for condemnation cases vary widely by jurisdiction. There does not appear to be any compilation by jurisdiction of condemnation law. Because our Committee has members practicing in each of the 50 states, we are currently working on compilation of a brief overview of law and procedure related to eminent domain for each state.



Editor’s Message

The project to publish the law of eminent domain in each of the 50 states, and territories, was started in 2005 by Susan Low, as Chairperson of the ABA Litigation Section, Committee on Condemnation, Zoning and Land Use. A primary purpose was to give the serious student and practitioner the opportunity to compare the laws of different states in key areas of concern and with respect to particular issues of interest to the eminent domain attorney.

Members of the Committee were asked to comment on a list of subjects and particular questions to be included in the state law outlines. The responses resulted in a list of issues and an organization to the presentation of those issues.

The decision was made to present the information for each state in a somewhat uniform style of organization. However, there has been no attempt to require the individual authors to present their outline in the same format. Thus, some of the outlines approach true outline form, while others take a more narrative approach. Some outlines contain footnotes and follow the Uniform System of Citation, while others are much less formal in their approach.

Each state outline is organized in the following manner:

  • Recent Developments
  • Who is Eligible to Condemn?
  • What can be Condemned?
  • The Condemnation Proceedings
  • Procedure to Challenge Condemnation
  • Inverse Condemnation
  • Just Compensation Issues
  • How are Various Ownership Interests Treated?
  • Abandonment
  • Attorney Fees and Costs

The Recent Development section is a fairly new addition. It was added as a result of Kelo vs. City of New London and the state legislative actions that soon followed in reaction to the Kelo decision. It is expected that there will continue to be reasons for updates in this area.

Each outline indicates the date of last revision. When outlines are updated, the most recent developments are shown in italics.

The authors of these state outlines are experienced eminent domain practitioners, and have volunteered to give their time and knowledge for the benefit of their colleagues in the practice. They each deserve our thanks. If you find the outline for your state to be helpful, feel free to extend your thanks to the author.

William G. Blake, Editor

Please forward any suggestions, comments, or updates on the law to:

Note: This online compendium should be used as only a starting point and not a substitute for original research. The views expressed in the Compendium are those of the contributing authors and not necessarily those of their employers or the American Bar Association.



The Law of Eminent Domain

A single resource for eminent domain practitioners, this guide is a reference for questions about eminent domain and condemnation procedure in every state and the District of Columbia.


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