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P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Experience:  12+ yrs. of experience including real estate law.
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Sam owns an acre of land on Red River. The government dams

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Sam owns an acre of land on Red River. The government dams the river. A lake forms behind the dam, covering Sam's land. Does the government owe Sam anything?

If so, what? If not, why?
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

The government will owe Sam the loss of value of his land. This is true under the "taking clause" of the 5th Amendment.

So the government can take land, but they are required, under the Constitution, to compensate for the taking.
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