Eminent Domain and Property Rights

We Can Help With Florida Property Rights and Eminent Domain

Condemnation, or eminent domain, is the legal process by which the local, state, or federal government seizes commercial or residential properties from landowners or lessees for public use. According to eminent domain law in the State of Florida, the condemning authority for a property must make a good faith offer to the landowner. There must be justification for the usage of the land, such as a need for public projects. Infrastructure projects for the expansion of roadways and public parks or various public buildings, including schools, libraries, hospitals, police, and fire stations are all lawful justifications for land acquisition.

We provide Sensible Solutions for Complex Land Matters

Protecting the rights of commercial and residential property owners provides a unique opportunity for Mateer & Harbert. This area of the law encompasses fundamental constitutional rights that are affected by governmental actions. Our attorneys lead teams of professionals such as engineers, land planners, surveyors, and appraisers to deliver superior client service. 

Mateer & Harbert has represented:

  • Single-family homeowners
  • Large scale residential and commercial property owners 
  • Developers
  • Outdoor advertising companies
  • Convenience store owners and operators
  • Hospitals 
  • Apartment complex owners
  • Cities, counties, and school boards
  • Transportation authorities

Our lawyers have trial and appellate experience throughout the state. We represent private and public clients in condemnation, inverse condemnation, regulatory taking cases, and property rights cases.

 The Process of Condemnation

Eminent domain law requires specific information to be provided to the landowner, business owner, or lessee who operates a business on a property that has been allocated for public use.  

The condemning authority must provide:

  • Justification for land acquisition.
  • An appraisal report.
  • Proposed Construction plans for the property.
  • Documentation of the property owner’s rights.
  • An agreement to compensate for any damage done to the surrounding property in the taking of the land.

Disputes in Eminent Domain

Florida law prohibits a government entity from conveying property acquired through condemnation to private owners, except in infrastructure projects. Commercial and residential property owners must get just compensation for their land. It is common for landowners to challenge the compensation offered, as the government must give the full fair market value. There are often indirect damages that can be costly to landowners and businesses, resulting in conflicts between the acquiring entity and the landowner. Public projects may cause a forced closure of a company, due to infrastructure changes in the roadway. For example, this may eliminate a parking lot for a busy roadside market. Driveway closures may limit access for a portion of an owner’s land. Government projects may affect property value, change its zoning criteria, or displace residents from their homes and businesses.

We Have Won Compensation Awards for Our Clients

If you have received notice that your property has been appropriated for public use, call our experienced legal team. Since 1961, Mateer & Harbert has been protecting the rights of our clients. Our legal team can fight to negotiate a fair market settlement for your losses. We have extensive courtroom and appellate experience and can challenge claims for our clients throughout the State of Florida.

For more information regarding our condemnation, eminent domain, and property rights practice, contact Mateer & Harbert at 407-425-9044.

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