Navigation Servitude Law and Legal Definition

Navigation servitude refers to the public right of navigation. [United States v. 412.715 Acres of Land, 53 F. Supp. 143, 148 (D. Cal. 1943)]. This term is used to describe the paramount interest of the U.S. in navigation and the navigable waters of the nation. The servitude derives from the Commerce Clause and is a concept of power, not of property. Under the servitude, when the U.S., in the exercise of its powers over navigation, affects the interests of owners of private property, it is not generally required to compensate the owners. [United States v. Certain Parcels of Land, 666 F.2d 1236, 1238 (9th Cir. 1982)]