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Bar News - February 23, 2007

Morning Mail: Eminent Domain Amendment Has Significant Impact


Haden P. Gerrish’s article, “Eminent Domain Amendment Won’t Impact Existing Law,” on the eminent domain constitutional amendment, that appeared on page 1 of the October 20, 2006, issue of the NH Bar News does not accurately represent the impact of the amendment.


The amendment was written to prevent a taking in which private property was transferred, directly or indirectly—by sale or lease or any other method—by the taking authority to a private entity for private development or use even if such private development or use served a public purpose. The amendment prohibits in New Hampshire what the US Supreme Court allowed in Connecticut.


Thus, the public taking of privately-owned, blighted property and its subsequent sale or lease to a private party—either before or after rehabilitation—was specifically considered in the legislative process and determined to be prohibited by the amendment.


Rep. Neal M. Kurk

Hillsborough, Dist. 7

Weare, NH


Author’s Note: I appreciate Rep. Kurk’s comments and welcome any further discussion. My article posed certain hypothetical questions concerning the potential impact of the amendment and concluded that “these and other questions will have to be answered by the courts.”—Haden Gerrish




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