December 2017 Archives
Southern California has been tormented by six recent wild fires that have burned hundreds of thousands of acres of naturally occuring growth and plant cover in hills and mountains above major population centers and residential neighborhoods. Plant cover and natural landscaping provides soil stability, especially on cliffs, hillsides and sloping terrain. When large areas experience devastating wild fires, the result can often be subsequent landslides, debris flows and earth movement after continuous or heavy rainfall.
One event does not a trend make. By definition, trends reflect "a general direction or something popular." In the context of the law, precedent is something that may herald a trend because it is "a judicial decision that should be followed by a judge when deciding a later similar case." The law is a complicated thing, however, and one can't always be certain when precedent will apply.
Eminent domain can be described as the government's power to buy property without consent by the landowner to the transcaction. The authority is not a one-way street, however. The law declares "just compensation" be made to the owner for the loss. The value of that compensation is what makes eminent domain and related issues dense and complex.