2014 Initiative Petitions
Approved for Circulation in Missouri

Constitutional Amendment to Article I, Relating to Eminent Domain,
version 1, blue paper

NOTICE: You are advised that the proposed constitutional amendment may be construed to change, repeal, or modify by implication Article VI, Section 21 of the Missouri Constitution.

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

Sections 26, 27 and 28 of Article I of the Constitution of Missouri are amended by modifying sections 26, 27 and 28. The existing sections 26, 27 and 28 are set forth hereinafter with the new matter underlined and deleted matter in brackets, [thus].

Article I - Bill of Rights
In order to assert our rights, acknowledge our duties, and proclaim the principles on which our government is founded, we declare:

            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, including state entities expressly granted such power by this constitution, or in political subdivisions of the state whose officials are directly accountable to elected officials. That private property shall not be 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 27. That in such manner and under such limitations as may be provided by law, the state, or any county or city may acquire by eminent domain such property, or rights in property, in excess of that actually to be occupied by the public improvement or used in connection therewith, as may be reasonably necessary to effectuate the purposes intended, and may be vested with the fee simple title thereto, or the control of the use thereof, and may sell such excess property, subject to the conditions set forth in subsection 4 of section 28 of this article, with such restrictions as shall be appropriate to preserve the improvements made.
            Section 28.   1. That taking of private property [shall not be taken for ]resulting in 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, property, a portion thereof, or rights in property taken by eminent domain  may 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  conveyance of such rights, 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, A.D. 2014, or as soon as is constitutionally permissible, and the provisions of Article I, Sections 26, 27 and 28 apply notwithstanding any application to the contrary of Article VI, Section 21 of this constitution.