Case Study: Eminent Domain In Michigan Essay

Eminent Domain in Michigan
Eminent domain is defined by law as the right of a government or its agent to expropriate private property for public use, with due compensation. However, there can be certain cases where the government go too far in their power, breaking apart towns and its people. In the cases of Poletown Neighborhood Council v. The City of Detroit in 1981 and Wayne County v. Hathcock in 2004, we can see eminent domain working well and working poorly in the state of Michigan.
In 1981, the case of Poletown Neighborhood Council v. The City of Detroit brought the issue of eminent domain in Michigan to the forefront. At the time of this case, Michigan and the United States as a whole was doing poorly economically. Unemployment in…

In particular, G.M. was considering ending its operations in the city of Detroit. However, if the corporation did leave, unemployment rates would rise even more, causing the city to lose millions of dollars in real estate and income tax revenues. Thus the city took action to prevent this from happening. To remain in Detroit, G.M. would need a large swath of undeveloped land to make a suitable plant site. There is no undeveloped land in Detroit, leaving the government officials to use the power of eminent domain to evict residents from their homes to build the plant. Eminent domain allows for the government to compensate residents for their land if used for a public purpose. However, the issue in this case is whether or not it is constitutional to do this if the land would be taken by the government to then be given to a private entity in order to bolster the…

They found that the park was not an enterprise dependent on the use of land that could be assembled only by government action, so the government did not have to step in unless absolutely necessary to still reap the benefits of the business and technology park. It also would not be subject to public oversight after being sold to private entities if eminent domain was not enforced here. Additionally, there were no facts of independent public significance, such as safety and health issues to justify condemnation. Because there isn’t an obvious public purpose, which is what eminent domain is centered around, the courts went against case precedent, saying Poletown did it wrong, letting the nineteen people stay on their property, and proving that the power of eminent domain is not a power that is always abused by officials, and the restraints put on it to determine whether something is a sufficient public purpose does protect us from abuse of the…