Eminent Domain and Just Compensation Self-Quiz










New York State wants to take over private property located on the corner of Chambers Street and West Street in lower Manhattan so that they can build a museum as a tribute to the victims of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. Can they do this?
Choice 1 Yes; under the State’s power of eminent domain
Choice 2 No; because New York is not its own sovereign and so does not have the power of eminent domain
Choice 3 Yes; but only with the permission of the federal government
Choice 4 No; because the museum would not be considered a public use
In the above question, must New York pay the owners of the building that it is taking over for the value of the property that it is condemning?
Choice 1 Yes; because New York is bound by the just compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment
Choice 2 Yes; because New York does not have the power of eminent domain
Choice 3 No; because the states are not bound by the Fifth Amendment
Choice 4 No; because the just compensation clause only applies to takings for public use
New York City passes a regulation that says that every apartment building owner must allow cable facilities to be installed in their buildings. The cable facilities consist of materials that take up very little space (a cable that is only a half inch in diameter). An apartment building owner claims that this constitutes a taking, requiring compensation. Is this claim correct?
Choice 1 No; because the space taken is too small
Choice 2 No; because the space will still belong to the apartment building owners; the city isn’t removing it from their possession
Choice 3 Yes; because cable television does not qualify as a public purpose
Choice 4 Yes; because the city is depriving the owners of the right to do what they want with that space
Jay owns a spice shop in the city of New Tudor in the state of Alaska. One day, The New Tudor city government opens a tar manufacturing plant next door. The smell from the tar shop is so bad that it makes the whole area smell badly. Jay’s entire method of drawing people into his shop was the fact that it smelled so good in his shop. Since the tar plant opened, Jay’s business has been hurt. He could convert his shop into another kind of store, but he doesn’t want to give up his spice business. So, Jay sues the city for compensation, saying that opening the tar plant amounts to a taking. Is he correct?
Choice 1 No; because the tar shop may have been opened for a public purpose
Choice 2 No; because Jay still has an economically viable use for his property
Choice 3 Yes; because the tar shop is a nuisance to Jay
Choice 4 Yes; because the city is making it impossible for Jay to effectively run his business
Which of the following, if any, would be likely to be considered a “public use”?
Choice 1 Taking property and converting it into a public school
Choice 2 Taking property to convert it into office space to lure corporations into the city to stimulate the city’s economy
Choice 3 Both of the above
Choice 4 Neither of the above
New City condemns Blackacre, which was theretofore owned by Michelle. The fair market value of Blackacre is $200,000. However, Michelle had received an offer from Bob to buy Blackacre for $250,000. Michelle rejected that offer, because she would not sell Blackacre for anything less than $300,000. How much does New City have to pay Michelle for Blackacre?
Choice 1 $200,000
Choice 2 $250,000
Choice 3 $300,000
Choice 4 Nothing, because New City is not bound by the “just compensation” clause of the Fifth Amendment

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