Resolutions of Necessity

Eminent domain is the inherent power of government to acquire private property for public use. The owners of such property shall not be deprived of their property without just compensation as provided by the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution and Article I of the California Constitution.

Condemnation is the legal proceeding by which the power of eminent domain is exercised.

Right-of-way needed for the State Highway System (SHS) is acquired through purchase at fair market value. When Caltrans cannot reach an agreement with a property owner on the value or amount of land to be acquired, Caltrans is allowed to request a condemnation action from the California Transportation Commission (CTC) under California Streets and Highway Code, Section 102, and pursuant to California Code of Civil Procedure, Section 1245.230. A resolution of necessity (RON) is a formal document adopted by the CTC that authorizes Caltrans to proceed with a condemnation action to acquire property.

Under eminent domain law, a property owner may request to appear before the CTC to contest Caltrans' resolution of necessity.

Policy and Procedures

  • Project Development Procedures Manual (PDPM) Chapter 28 (PDF) - Resolutions of Necessity
  • Right of Way Manual Chapter 9 (PDF) - Condemnation