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Condemnation for Future Needs

Reference Number: MTAS-1293
Reviewed Date: 10/05/2023

The propriety of the condemner acquiring property for expected future needs has never been addressed by a Tennessee court, but other courts have found that the time of the taking, like the location and extent of the property to be acquired, is a question for the legislative branch that will not be disturbed by the courts absent fraud or arbitrary and capricious action. [59] As long as the future need for the property can be fairly anticipated by the condemner, the courts will not interfere with the condemner’s determination of necessity. [60] Since the condemner in Tennessee is not barred from the exercise of common sense or good business judgment in the operation or construction of public facilities, [61] it is likely that Tennessee courts would permit the condemnation of property the condemner fairly expects will be needed to satisfy the condemner’s future needs.

[59] Rindge Co. v. County of Los Angeles, 262 U.S. 700, 43 S.Ct. 689, 67 L. Ed. 1186 (1922); United States ex rel. Tennessee Valley Authority v. Dugger, 89 F. Supp. 877 (E.D. Tenn. 1948); Commonwealth, Department of Highways v. Burchett, 367 S.W.2d 262 (Ky. Ct. App. 1963). See also Sackman and Rohan 1A Nichols' The Law of Eminent Domain, § 4.11 [2] (Rev. 3d Ed. 1990).

[60] Rindge Co. v. County of Los Angeles, supra.

[61] City of Knoxville v. Heth, supra.