Helping You Understand The Eminent Domain Process

Facing off against the government in the eminent domain process can be a very daunting experience. The thought that there is a possibility that you could lose your property by the government taking it against your will is something most people never consider.

The Decades Of Experience You Need

Understanding how the eminent domain process works can help you maximize the compensation you are given for your property. The experienced attorneys of the Property Rights Law Firm, P.A., have decades of experience helping people effectively navigate the condemnation process.

The eminent domain process usually follows these steps:

  • The government attempts to negotiate the purchase of the property for fair value.
  • If the owner does not wish to sell, the government files a court action to exercise the power of eminent domain, and serves or publishes notice of the hearing as required by law.
  • An Order of Taking hearing is scheduled, at which the government must demonstrate that it engaged in good faith negotiations to purchase the property, but that no agreement was reached. Additionally, the government must also demonstrate that the taking of the property is for a public use, as defined by law. At this hearing, the property owner is given the opportunity to respond to the government's claims.
  • If the government is successful at this stage of the proceeding, then the government, within 20 days of the Taking Order, must place a "good faith" estimate of the value of the property in the Court's registry. The landowner is then entitled to withdraw this sum for his own personal use. Any payment to the owner is first used to satisfy any mortgages, liens and encumbrances on the property, with any remaining balance paid to the owner. At this point, the government obtains title to the property.
  • Next, a trial is held to establish full compensation and any other possible damages that may be recoverable for the property that was taken. If it is determined that the "good faith" estimate was deficient, compensation includes not only the value above and beyond the "good faith" estimate, but also interest on the difference.
  • If the government or the property owner is not satisfied with the outcome, either side may appeal the decision.
  • At the close of proceedings, the taking authority is assessed for the court costs, including all reasonable expenses incurred by the property owner. This means the government pays not only attorneys' fees, but also fees for any expert witnesses offering testimony.

For more information regarding the eminent domain process, the following pages can be helpful:

  • Eminent domain authorities — Apart from the government, who has the authority to condemn your property?
  • Public notice and eminent domain — What is your first notice that the government or some other authorized organization is seeking to condemn your property?
  • A history of eminent domain — Do you want to learn more about the historical origins of eminent domain?

Eminent Domain Process Attorneys Serving All Of Florida

If you are about to enter, or are in the midst of, the eminent domain process, we can help make sure your voice is heard. Turn to the Property Rights Law Firm, P.A., for the skilled help you need. To schedule a free initial consultation, call 407-208-2652 or contact us online.