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Eminent domain

The power of eminent domain is the power of government to confiscate private property for public use. Governments most commonly use the power of eminent domain when such property is necessary for the completion of a public project such as a road and the owner of the required property is unwilling to negotiate a price for its sale.

The word expropriation is synonymous with "eminent domain" and is used in certain countries as jurisdictions, some of which do not pay compensation for the confiscated property.

The exercise of eminent domain is not limited merely to real estate. Governments may also comdemn the value in a contract such as a franchise agreement (which is why many franchise agreements will stipulate that in condemnation proceedings, the franchise itself has no value).

In the United States, the Fifth amendment requires that just compensation be paid when the power of eminent domain is used.

In France, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen similarly mandates just and preliminary compensation before expropriation.