Marion Energy, Inc. v. KFJ Ranch Partnership
Utah Supreme Court
2011 UT 50, 267 P.3d 863
In interpreting statutory language, the primary goal is to give effect to the legislature’s intent. To accomplish this goal, courts look first at the plain language of the statute, and reads each term according to its ordinary and accepted meaning, avoiding absurd or nonsensical results.
Because the exercise of eminent domain results in the derogation of a property owner’s right to use and enjoy land, any ambiguity in statutory language purporting to grant eminent domain power should be strictly construed in favor of the property owner and against the condemning agency.