Creative Solutions to Eminent Domain Problems

I have, on numerous occasions, succinctly stated that the definition of eminent domain is the government taking private land for a public purpose. While that definition is completely accurate and very easy to understand, I will contend that the simplicity of that definition incorrectly infers that solutions to eminent domain problems are equally as simple.

Developing a public infrastructure is an expensive business and those entities engaged in such development, like local governments, are always looking to cut costs. One way in which many local governments, especially in Florida, most often look to save money is through cunning eminent domain planning. In my more than 25 years of representing property owners, I have seen the government engage in some tricky legal tactics in order to save itself money at the property owner’s expense.

For instance, I have seen a local governments redesign whole segments of highways in order to have the highway fall just on the other side of a property owner’s property line. The government then claimed that because no actual property was taken from the owner, the owner was not harmed – even though instead of a pristine country-side view, the owner now had a pristine view of a 30 foot high, continuously lit highway entrance ramp. Take as another example one of Florida’s most recent and preferred tactics; repressing an entire market’s real property value. As of late, it has become known that for nearly a decade, various Florida state agencies actively repressed the value of real estate in an area that would be needed for the construction of a major highway. Now that it is time to actually begin purchasing property in this area, the various state agencies are insisting that property owners accept the repressed purchase price the various state agencies are themselves responsible for creating.

The point in providing these examples is to demonstrate that while defining an eminent domain taking may be simple, defending against an eminent domain taking is not. Successfully defending yourself from an unjust eminent domain compensation settlement requires the employ of an experienced attorney who is well accustomed to implementing creative legal solutions to counter the government’s manipulative legal tactics. To that end, if you feel I and my firm, Maguire Lassman, P.A., could be of any service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us by clicking HERE.

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