As a landowner, the decision to sell your property is an important one. Unfortunately, the choice of when, to whom, and by how much to sell your property is not always your choice. One possible reason behind this is the eminent domain law. Under this law, the city or state possesses the right to acquire private property for the sake of public use. Through this law, private lands and homes can be forcibly bought and demolished in order to build public infrastructure like a school, a new city office, or a hospital.
It is important to remember that if the government’s claim to the property is deemed justified, private property owners will have no choice but to give up their ownership. In return, they will be paid a certain “just compensation” amount by the government, usually based on the property’s fair market value. While this may sound equitable, there are many circumstances that could lead to a misunderstanding between the state and affected landowners. If you are facing such a situation, your first step must be to get the services of an experienced eminent domain lawyer.
The state of Florida has seen quite a number of these cases through the decades. One of the most recent involves the owners of several properties on West Church Street in Orlando, who were asked by the city government to give up their ownership to make room for a soccer stadium. While other property owners agreed without protest to the takeover, the owners of Faith Deliverance Temple resisted to let go, and asked for a higher payment from the city.
This case highlights the kind of dissent property owners can raise against an eminent domain action. One is if the amount the government offers is not acceptable to the owner; and the second is the validity and sufficiency of reason for the government takeover. For example, does building a soccer stadium constitute “public purpose”? In the end, the judge ruled in favor of the city, and the church owners had no choice but to give up their properties at the amount offered by the city.
It is the right of private property owners to fight for their properties if they deem the government has not presented a rightful claim. St. Petersburg and Tampa residents facing such cases should seek the help of an eminent domain lawyer like Mark Bentley, P.A. who will help them understand and fight for their rights, including determining the correct value of the property. Likewise, those who do not wish to protest such an action still need the services of a qualified lawyer to help negotiate the terms, and to ensure compliance of both parties to agreed-upon conditions.
(Florida Court Allows Taking Of Private Land To Build A Major League Soccer Stadium Based On A Broad Application Of “Public Use” Doctrine, forbes.com)
(Judge: Orlando can take land for soccer stadium, articles.orlandosentinel.com)
(POE v. HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, caselaw.findlaw.com)Share