Government Power



To remember the government powers, think of the name PETE.

P for Police Power
E for Eminent Domain
T for Taxation
E for Escheat

An individual would not have any of these rights.

1. Police Power
Police power is the state’s inherent right to regulate an individual’s conduct or property to protect the health, safety, welfare, and morals of the community. That comes up a lot on the exam. Unlike the exercise of eminent domain, no compensation need be paid.
Common examples of police power in relation to real estate are
Zoning
- Building codes
- Rent control

2. Eminent Domain
Eminent domain refers to the power possessed by the state to appropriate property for a public use. In some jurisdictions, the state delegates eminent domain power to certain public and private companies, typically utilities, such that they can bring eminent domain actions to run telephone, power, water, or gas lines. The owner of any appropriated land is entitled to reasonable compensation, usually defined as the fair market value of the property.

3. Taxation
A charge on real estate used to pay for services provided by the government.

4. Escheat
Escheat occurs when property reverts to state ownership when an individual dies without a will and without heirs. Escheat ensures that property always has ownership, which would be the state or government if nobody claims the property. Escheat is usually done on a revocable basis, which means that ownership of the estate or property would revert to a rightful heir should somebody appear. 
Not many memory techniques for this one, other than to say the government "cheated" to get the property because they did not know the person who died. Not trying to get political there—just a memory technique.