Under the eminent domain laws, the state and local governments can take private property from its owners and convert the land for public use. Courts generally will uphold such land grabs if it is proven the taking would serve a public purpose.
However, there have been cases where property owners have been unlawfully deprived of their homes and businesses. For example, if a taking is not for a recognized public purpose, or if the government should seek to take more land than needed for its project, the taking is improper under the law. When that happens, citizens can object to the government taking of their properties. An eminent domain lawyer familiar with local Tampa regulations can help you through the process of contesting the proposed taking, or help you receive just compensation for the seizure of the property.
One Florida case involved property that the government wanted to seize to make room for a golf course. The case began in the mid-80s and dragged on until 2002. That clearly frustrated the local property owners. Notably one couple, John and Wendy Zamecnik, who believed Florida already had more golf courses than any other state in the U.S. More than 300 homes were bought and torn down, but the Zamecniks and a handful of others decided to stay until forced out of their homes. The worst part is the footnote to the case: the golf course was never built.
Homeowners who suspect their property might be subject to eminent domain need to quickly take legal action. The U.S. Constitution dictates that private property cannot be confiscated without just compensation. Before the government can exercise its right to seize properties, it must give notice to the landowner, and the notice should detail the proposed use and a price offer. If an agreement cannot be reached, or if the owner believes reasons stated for taking the property do not meet the public purpose test, a hearing would be in order.
At this point, the owner of the property should consult with an experienced lawyer who practices eminent domain. With the expertise of an eminent domain lawyer, you could argue that the amount of compensation offered was not acceptable, or that the price offered seriously underestimated the property.
An attorney well versed in the field of eminent domain should provide you with useful legal advice that would help you with your decision on whether or not you need to take the matter to the courts. Find reputable eminent domain and land use lawyers in Tampa like Mark Bentley, P.A. to recommend the proper actions and guide you along the way.
Challenging Eminent Domain, www.FindLaw.com
Understanding Eminent Domain, www.HG.orgShare