Legal Aspects of Condemnation

Eminent Domain

Section 29. Eminent domain. Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation to the full extent of the loss having been first made to or paid into court for the owner. In the event of litigation, just compensation shall include necessary expenses of litigation to be awarded by the court when the private property owner prevails.

Montana Code Annotated

Title 70. Chapter 30. Eminent Domain

Establishes the basic principles and procedures for determining if the taking is necessary and, if so, the amount of just compensation due the landowner.

Title 60. Highways and Transportation
Chapter 4. Acquisition and Disposition of Property

Applies specifically to acquisitions for highway purposes including provisions for relocation under "total take" conditions.

Policies and Procedures Required by Federal Law

Acquisitions of private property for highway purposes are required to meet the requirements of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as published in the United States Code (USC) and the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)

Case Law

Montana has an extensive history of decisions by the Montana Supreme Court interpreting the Constitutional provisions and statutes regarding the process of Eminent Domain.

In addition to the State of Montana itself, the Montana Legislature has extended the power of condemnation to many entities including mining, railroads, power companies, telephone companies and the like.