Although the power of eminent domain is generally reserved for public entities, i.e. the government, in certain situations, a private party can exercise a form of eminent domain to acquire the right to enter someone’s property to make necessary repairs. Specifically, the owner of real property may exercise the power of eminent domain to acquire a temporary right to enter “adjacent or nearby” property for making repairs or reconstructing land or improvements. (Civ. Code § 1002(a).) However, this power does not apply to temporary entries on land used primarily for the commercial production of agricultural commodities and forest products. (Civ. Code § 1002(e).)
For the purposes of this power, “adjacent” or “nearby” refers to land that is “contiguous with the property needing repair or reconstruction.” (Civ. Code § 1002(d).) “Adjacent” or “nearby” can also refer to “land through which the party granted temporary access must pass to reach adjacent land.” (Id.)
However, even if you satisfy the above requirements, a party can only enter the property after the Court enters a court order or judgment allowing the same. (Civ. Code 1002(b).) In addition, the person seeking the order must make a security deposit with the Court in an amount sufficient to restore the property to the condition it was prior to entry. (Civ. Code § 1002(b).) The condemning party may also be required to pay reasonable rent for their use of the condemned property.