What Is Inverse Condemnation?
When the government limits a citizen’s private property rights to such a degree that the property owner loses an essential element of those rights, a “taking” may have occurred. That taking will not be permitted without the payment of full compensation to the citizen suffering the loss.
The government may take property directly by instituting condemnation proceedings or indirectly without filing a formal eminent domain action. The property owner’s remedy for an indirect taking may be an “inverse condemnation” case, a legal action in eminent domain filed by the property owner as opposed to one initiated by the government, to prove that the government’s action resulted in a loss of the use and enjoyment of your property.
Inverse (or reverse) condemnation is defined as the property owner’s action against a government defendant to recover the value of property that has been taken, even though no formal exercise of the power of eminent domain has been attempted by the taking agency. Furthermore, even if the property is not actually damaged, but a property owner’s use of the property is restricted as a result of government action, the property owner may be eligible for compensation under the Bert J. Harris, Jr., Private Property
Rights Protection Act.
Flooding caused by Government Action
One of the most common causes of inverse condemnation is flooding. When a public project, such as highway construction, results in a diversion of water onto private property, the owner may have an inverse condemnation claim. It is essential to show a degree of permanency. However, permanency of flooding is established if it is “reasonably expected to continually reoccur in the future.”
Removal of Ground Support
Sometimes a nearby government construction project can lead to damage to your property by removing ground support. This can lead to damage to pipes, foundations, trees, or landscaping damage for which you must be compensated. The loss of ground support may require the installation of retaining walls or may make the property completely unusable.
In order to establish that your property has suffered permanent alteration amounting to an inadvertent taking, it is necessary to acquire the services of qualified expert witnesses. At the Florida Property Rights Law Firm, we have worked with experts in all fields, including hydrological, soil, and structural engineers.
The attorneys at The Florida Property Rights Law Firm will help you understand the eminent domain process and your rights as a Florida property owner.
Our condemnation attorneys represent private property and business owners throughout the State of Florida. We don’t charge for an initial consultation and, in most cases, the government has to pay your court costs and our attorneys’ fees. Please call or email us today to schedule your initial consultation.