2008 Initiative Petitions
Approved for Circulation in Missouri

Constitutional Amendment to Article I - Eminent Domain, 2008-001


Be it resolved by the people of the state of Missouri that the Constitution be amended:

Section 26 and 28 of Article I of the Constitution of Missouri are amended by modifying Section 26 and 28. The existing Section 26 and 28 are set forth hereinafter with the new matter underlined and deleted matter in brackets, .[thus].


Article I - Bill of Rights

Section 26. [That private property shall not be  taken or damaged for public use without just compensation.] That the power of eminent domain shall be vested in no other than the state, or political subdivisions of the state whose officials are directly responsible to elected officials, and that private property, or the right to the use, sale or enjoyment of private property, shall not be directly or indirectly taken or damaged unless such taking is necessary for a public use and just compensation is rendered. Such compensation shall be ascertained by a jury or board of commissioners of not less than three freeholders, in such manner as may be provided by law[;] . The value of the property may be determined by, but is not limited to, appraisal methods typical to the ordinary course of business and any evidence which would be considered by an appraiser in the ordinary course of business  shall be relevant and admissible.  [and until the same Until a final legal determination of the legitimacy of the taking is established and until compensation shall be paid to the owner, or into court for the owner,   the property shall not be disturbed or the proprietary rights of the owner therein divested. The fee of land taken for railroad purposes without consent of the owner thereof shall remain in such owner subject to the use for which it is taken.

Section 28.  (1) That  private property [shall not be]taken for private use  or private ownership or other private rights shall not be considered a public use and no such takings shall occur with or without compensation, unless by consent of the owner, except for private ways of necessity, and except for drains and ditches across the lands of others for agricultural and sanitary purposes, in the manner prescribed by law; and that when an attempt is made to take private property for a use alleged to be public, the question whether the contemplated use be public shall be judicially determined without regard to any legislative declaration that the use is public.

(2)  The use for property, or rights in property, shall be declared at the time that such property, or rights in property is taken by eminent domain.  If that use is not earnestly or substantially pursued, the original owner, his heirs or assigns shall, after five years but prior to any substantial accomplishment of the declared purpose, be allowed to claim the property back at a price no greater than was paid at the time of taking.

(3) Subject to the conditions set forth in Section 26 of this article, property may be taken for  transportation or utility facilities or transmission systems used by a railroad, regulated utility or rural electric cooperative, however the fee of property taken for such purposes without consent of the owner thereof shall remain in such owner, his heirs or assigns subject to the use for which it is taken.

(4)  Except as provided for in subsection (1) and subsection (3) of this section and notwithstanding Section 27 of this article, property, a portion thereof, or rights in property taken by eminent domain can not be sold, transferred, leased or otherwise made available for use by a private entity within 20 years of such taking, unless  the original owner, his heirs or assigns,  have at the time of sale, been afforded the first opportunity to purchase such  property back at a price no greater than was paid at the time of taking, however interests less than fee title may be conveyed to a privately owned business for the purpose of providing products or services incidental to the function of a publicly owned facility.

(5)   The effective date of this amendment shall be November 5, 2008 and the provisions of Article I, sections 26 and 28 apply notwithstanding any application to the contrary of Article VI, Section 21 of this constitution.