Reasons For Government Taking Property

In Florida, there are strict rules about what is or is not an acceptable reason for taking property using eminent domain. Eminent domain is only supposed to support projects that are strictly for public use, including infrastructure and public buildings. Other uses are prohibited.

If your property is being condemned for something you suspect is an abuse of eminent domain, you can fight the condemnation. For help protecting your property rights, please call or email the Florida Property Rights Law Firm, PA today.

Prohibited Uses of Eminent Domain

In most cases, eminent domain cannot be used to give your property to another private owner. Eminent domain can be used to transfer your property to that of another private owner when the property will be used for:

  • Common carrier systems
  • Public roads (including toll roads) and related services
  • Utilities
  • Drainage and wastewater
  • Other public infrastructure

In any other case, or if the condemning authority decides the property is not needed, you will be given the first chance to buy the property back for the same amount that you received as a result of eminent domain proceedings.

If your property is being condemned to make way for any private development in which the main public benefit is increased tax revenue, you should be able to fight the condemnation.

Eminent domain is expressly prohibited for the correction of:

  • Blight
  • Slums
  • Public Nuisance

Since the label of blight and slum were often used to cover the transfer of private property from one owner to another, eminent domain reform has eliminated their use. Reform also prohibited the targeting of specific properties described as "public nuisances" using eminent domain. If you suspect these reasons are behind an eminent domain project and think you may be able to prove it, you may be able to fight condemnation.

Acceptable Uses of Eminent Domain

Normally, eminent domain is used for projects with a clear public benefit, including:

  • Roads
  • Schools
  • Public buildings
  • Parks
  • Airports
  • Public parking
  • Utilities, including easements for new transmission and sewer lines
  • Environmental preservation

And similar projects. When you receive your initial "good faith" offer from a public authority, you will be told what project your property is needed for. You can make a written request for not only the appraisal report of your property used to make the offer, but also a copy of all the plans for the project as they currently exist.

If you feel your property is being acquired for an unjustified use, you can fight it. For help in your fight, contact the Florida Property Rights Law Firm, PA today.