The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution says "nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation." That is pretty straight forward. Occasionally, the federal government, states, and municipalities will abuse their authority in taking private property. Sometimes it is for public use. Other times the abuse is solely for political favors and increasing tax base, such as in the Kelo decision. That was one horrific and unjust decision.
Locally, we have seen eminent domain abuse by shafting property owners by not paying the fair value of the property being taken. The Smithfield Herald has a story of one couple who were getting hosed by the State of North Carolina and were not being paid the fair value for their property. Not only did the State condemn their property and then grossly undervalued it, their justification for the undervaluation was based upon a situation they themselves created for the property years ago when they took some of that farm for eminent domain use.
The first eminent domain property taken to build a highway left the remaining property with no main highway access, only service road access. Allegedly, that made the property less valuable. That is not a situation created by the couple who owned the property. It was solely a creation of the state. Now the state wants more of their property to do more highway construction. The state has undervalued the property, based upon the fact that they created a lack of access to the property previously. That is just wrong.
The couple put up a fight, had a private appraisal of their land, and won in court. To attempt to shaft the property owner while taking away their land "without just compensation" is morally wrong. I am glad to see that they won their case and will get their true just compensation for their loss.