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Measure Details

Eminent Domain Amendment

Nevada Ballot Measure - Question No. 4

Election: Nov. 2, 2010 (General)
Outcome: Failed

Categories:
Civil Liberties and Civil Rights
Government Operations
Housing and Property

Yes
214,086
(32.72%)

Argument For

No
440,245
(67.28%)

Argument Against

Summary

    Approval of this question would repeal Article 1, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution, known as the People's Initiative to Stop the Taking of Our Land (PISTOL), and amend Article 1, Section 8 of the Nevada Constitution in order to: (1) provide that the transfer of private property from one private party to another is not considered a public use except under certain circumstances; (2) require an entity that takes private property to provide the property owner with all appraisals it has obtained; (3) grant a property owner the right to a separate determination of whether a taking constitutes a public use and place the burden of proof on the entity taking the property; (4) define "fair market value" and "just compensation"; (5) provide that neither party to an eminent domain action is liable for the other party's attorney's fees except under certain circumstances; and (6) make certain other changes related to eminent domain proceedings.

    The proposed amendment provides five exceptions to the prohibition against exercising eminent domain in order to transfer property from one private party to another. Under the following conditions, such a transfer would be considered a "public use" if: (1) the private party obtaining the property uses the property primarily to benefit a public service such as a utility, railroad, public transportation project, pipeline, road, bridge, airport, or facility that is owned by a public entity; (2) the property is leased to a private party that takes up a portion of an airport or facility that is owned by a public entity so long as the public entity notifies the original owner of its intention and allows the owner the opportunity to bid or propose on such a lease; (3) the property taken has been abandoned by the owner, is a threat to public safety, or contains hazardous waste that must be remediated, and the original owner is granted first right of refusal to reacquire the property on the same terms and conditions as anyone else; (4) the entity that obtains the property exchanges it for other property in order to relocate public or private structures or avoid excessive compensation or damages; or (5) the person from whom the property is taken consents to the taking.

    Additionally, the proposed amendment defines the terms "fair market value" and "just compensation" and provides for the manner of computing these amounts. It also stipulates that neither party may be held liable for the other party's attorney's fees in eminent domain proceedings except in the circumstance of an inverse condemnation, wherein a property owner makes a request for attorney's fees in a legal action. The proposed amendment revises from 5 years to 15 years the amount of time within which the entity that took the property must put it to use before the property must be offered to, and will revert to, the original owner upon payment of the original purchase price.

    Finally, the repeal of Article 1, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution would rescind a property owner's right to disqualify one judge at the district court level and one judge at each appellate level in any eminent domain action.

    A "Yes" vote would repeal Article 1, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution and amend Article 1, Section 8 of the Nevada Constitution relating to eminent domain proceedings.

    A "No" vote would retain Article 1, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution and keep intact the current provisions of Article 1, Section 8 of the Nevada Constitution relating to eminent domain proceedings.

    Measure Text

    Shall Article 1, Section 22 of the Nevada Constitution be repealed and shall Article 1, Section 8 of the Nevada Constitution be amended to revise provisions relating to eminent domain proceedings?

    Yes [ ] No [ ]

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