history | hilite | pdf

CHAPTER 738
SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 3
Proposing an amendment to Section 11 of Article I of the Constitution of Virginia, relating to taking or damaging of private property.

 

Agreed to by the Senate, February 13, 2012
Agreed to by the House of Delegates, March 6, 2012

 

WHEREAS, a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Virginia, hereinafter set forth, was agreed to by a majority of the members elected to each of the two houses of the General Assembly at the regular session of 2011 and referred to this, the next regular session held after the 2011 general election of members of the House of Delegates, as required by the Constitution of Virginia; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED by the Senate, the House of Delegates concurring, That the following amendment to the Constitution of Virginia be, and the same hereby is, proposed in conformity with the provisions of Section 1 of Article XII of the Constitution of Virginia, namely:

Amend Section 11 of Article I of the Constitution of Virginia as follows:

ARTICLE I
BILL OF RIGHTS

Section 11. Due process of law; obligation of contracts; taking or damaging of private property; prohibited discrimination; jury trial in civil cases.

That no person shall be deprived of his life, liberty, or property without due process of law; that the General Assembly shall not pass any law impairing the obligation of contracts, nor any law whereby private property shall be taken or damaged for public uses, without just compensation, the term "public uses" to be defined by the General Assembly; and that the right to be free from any governmental discrimination upon the basis of religious conviction, race, color, sex, or national origin shall not be abridged, except that the mere separation of the sexes shall not be considered discrimination.

That in controversies respecting property, and in suits between man and man, trial by jury is preferable to any other, and ought to be held sacred. The General Assembly may limit the number of jurors for civil cases in courts of record to not less than five.

That the General Assembly shall pass no law whereby private property, the right to which is fundamental, shall be damaged or taken except for public use. No private property shall be damaged or taken for public use without just compensation to the owner thereof. No more private property may be taken than necessary to achieve the stated public use. Just compensation shall be no less than the value of the property taken, lost profits and lost access, and damages to the residue caused by the taking. The terms "lost profits" and "lost access" are to be defined by the General Assembly. A public service company, public service corporation, or railroad exercises the power of eminent domain for public use when such exercise is for the authorized provision of utility, common carrier, or railroad services. In all other cases, a taking or damaging of private property is not for public use if the primary use is for private gain, private benefit, private enterprise, increasing jobs, increasing tax revenue, or economic development, except for the elimination of a public nuisance existing on the property. The condemnor bears the burden of proving that the use is public, without a presumption that it is.


Legislative Information System