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"Just Compensation" for Condemned Property

Churches are entitled to compensation for condemned property.

Key point: While church property can be taken by a city pursuant to "condemnation" (eminent domain), a church is entitled to "just compensation" for any property that is taken.

• The Montana Supreme Court was asked to determine if a trial court properly computed the amount of money to be paid to a church whose property was taken by condemnation. A city condemned 0.31 acres of a church's parking lot to facilitate the construction of a sewer main. The city offered to pay the church $25,000 for the property, but the church determined (on the basis of an appraisal) that $58,000 would be a reasonable settlement. After a jury trial the church was awarded $14,500 for the parcel taken and $2,500 for damages to its remaining property, for a total award of $17,000. The church appealed this decision to the state supreme court on three grounds. First, it argued that the trial court erred ...

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  • March 1, 1994

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