Taking for Public Use Law and Legal Definition

Taking for public use means entering upon private property for more than a momentary period and, under the warrant or color of legal authority, devoting it to a public use, or otherwise informally appropriating or injuriously affecting it in such a way as substantially to oust the owner and deprive him of all beneficial enjoyment thereof. The deprivation of the former owner rather than the accretion of a right or interest to the sovereign constitutes the taking. [United States v. General Motors Corp., 323 U.S. 373 (U.S. 1945)].

A taking, within the meaning of the constitutional provision that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation, includes any action the effect of which is to deprive the owner of all or most of his interest in the subject matter, such as destroying or damaging it. [United States v. General Motors Corp., 323 U.S. 373 (U.S. 1945)].