By all rights, the government can seize a private property under eminent domain. However, this doesn’t make you completely powerless as an ordinary citizen against the state exercising this right. According to USLegal, the whole concept of eminent domain has its own constitutional limits to protect the rights of a homeowner in Tampa or anywhere else in the United States. There are certain requirements that would need to be fulfilled that would only allow the government to seize your property. An eminent domain lawyer can help shed some light on the matter.
Under the Fifth Amendment, the government is allowed to take private property so long as it is within the limits. The first requirement is that the property that is acquired could only be used for public purposes like construction of schools, roads, bridges, and other public facilities. The owner of the said property must also be paid just compensation in exchange for the property that was taken. Lastly, the property must have been taken with due process to ensure that no injustice has been done.
While most property seizures and takings are done based on the constitutional requirements detailed above, some circumstances allow for the state to take the property without the owner receiving a single dime. For instance, the property has been abandoned for quite a long time. Another would be when the property has been proven to be connected to certain types of crime. For the latter example, the government and the authorities must first prove that the property has indeed been used for a criminal purpose. If the court rules in favor of the evidence presented, it can then be taken by the state without granting the owner compensation.
Of course, the homeowner can challenge a property being seized and bring a claim against the authorities if it is not done properly. The owner can seek legal help from an eminent domain attorney if there is no substantial amount of evidence proving involvement in a crime but the property is taken anyway—in which case, the property can be restored to its owner and the personnel responsible for the taking may be ordered to pay legal fees. If your property has been unlawfully seized, take immediate action and contact a lawyer in St. Petersburg who practices in the area of eminent domain, like Mark Bentley, P.A.
Constitutional Requirements, USLegal
Can the Government Seize My Property Without Paying Me?, Find Law