Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (11/03/2005)

Private Property Rights Protection Act of 2005 - (Sec. 2) Prohibits any state or political subdivision from exercising its power of eminent domain for economic development if that state or political subdivision receives federal economic development funds during the fiscal year. (Defines "economic development" as taking private property and conveying or leasing it to a private entity for commercial enterprise carried on for profit or to increase tax revenue, the tax base, employment, or general economic health.) Makes a state or political subdivision that violates such prohibition ineligible for any such funds for two fiscal years. Provides that such a state or political subdivision is not ineligible for such funds if it returns all real property that was improperly taken and replaces or repairs any property that was destroyed or damaged.

(Sec. 3) Prohibits the federal government from exercising its power of eminent domain for economic development.

(Sec. 4) Establishes a private cause of action for any private property owner who suffers injury as a result of a violation of this Act. Provides that a state is not immune from any such action in a federal or state court. Places the burden on the defendant to show by clear and convincing evidence that the taking is not for economic development. Sets the statute of limitations for such an action at seven years. Allows the prevailing plaintiff's attorney to obtain reasonable attorney's fees and expert fees.

(Sec. 5) Requires the Attorney General to: (1) compile a list of the federal laws under which federal economic development funds are distributed; (2) provide to each state and publish on a Department of Justice website the text of this Act, a description of the rights of property owners under this Act, and the compiled list of relevant federal laws; and (3) publish such text and description in the Federal Register.

(Sec. 6) Requires the Attorney General to submit an annual report to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees identifying states or political subdivisions that have used eminent domain in violation of this Act, that have lost federal economic developments funds as a result, and/or that returned property to cure a violation.

(Sec. 7) Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) the use of eminent domain for economic development is a threat to agricultural and other property in rural America; and (2) it is the policy of the United States to promote the private ownership of property and to protect the legal rights of private property owners.

(Sec. 13) Prohibits a state or political subdivision from exercising its power of eminent domain over property of a religious or other nonprofit organization because of the organization's nonprofit or tax-exempt status or any related quality if that state or political subdivision receives federal economic development funds during the fiscal year. Makes a state or political subdivision that violates such prohibition ineligible for any such funds for two fiscal years.

Prohibits the federal government from exercising its power of eminent domain over property of a religious or other nonprofit organization because of the organization's nonprofit or tax-exempt status or any related quality.

(Sec. 14) Requires the head of each executive department and agency to review all rules, regulations, and procedures and report to the Attorney General on their activities to comply with this Act.

(Sec. 15) Expresses the sense of Congress that all precautions should be taken to avoid the unfair or unreasonable taking of property from survivors of Hurricane Katrina for economic development or other private use.