Tampa Bay Eminent Domain FAQs

With the ever-expanding population of the Tampa Bay area, the local government must expand certain components of the government as well. For example, the City of Tampa might need to acquire land to expand a road or construct a new road to access developing communities. Hillsborough County might need space to build a school or a hospital to accommodate the rising population. Governmental bodies can acquire the property it needs for projects likes schools and roads through eminent domain. You should hire a Tampa Bay eminent domain lawyer you can trust like Eric T. Taylor if your land is subject to taking by the local government. Attorney Taylor possesses vast experience handling Florida eminent domain cases and will vigorously fight to protect your rights.

In handling Florida eminent domain cases, Attorney Taylor has learned that clients have many of the same questions for him. Each case is different and an answer that fits one case may not fit another, there are many issues of which every person should be aware when faced with a claim of eminent domain.

What is eminent domain?

In Florida, eminent domain is the taking of private property for public use. The principal of eminent domain is premised on the notion that the government can take the resources it needs to accomplish something for the common good. Taking of property by eminent domain is a forced sale of land to the government. Many governmental bodies have eminent domain authority. In the Tampa Bay area, the federal government, State of Florida, and Hillsborough County all have eminent domain authority. Cities like Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Clearwater also have the ability to take land through eminent domain. Many public utilities also enjoy limited eminent domain authority.

What Laws Protect Me If The City Of Tampa Wants To Take My Land?

The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution allows the government to take private property if, and only if, the government gives you just compensation. Additionally, the United States Constitution mandates the government give you the protection of Due Process. Due process means you have the right to receive notice of the impending legal action, the right to be heard, to have a lawyer, and to present evidence on your behalf.

Florida's constitution and state statutes provide greater protection than the Fifth Amendment does. Article X, section 6 of the Florida Constitution provides state government the authority to take private lands if it is for the public good. Additionally, Article X, Section 6 prohibits the sale of privately seized land to private entities unless the government follows the rules and procedures established by statute.

Florida state statutes describe the procedures the state must follow when filing for eminent domain. The state must show that the taking is for the public good and will benefit the public. The state must also prove that it has offered the landowner just compensation for the taking. Those laws are found in Chapters 73, 74, 127, and 163 of the Florida statutes.

What Are My Rights?

You have many rights. First, you have the right to have the attorney of your choice. In some instances, Florida law must pay your attorneys' fees and costs you incur through contesting eminent domain. In addition to having the right to an attorney, the following are some of the other rights you have:

  • You have the right to obtain your own appraisal of your property and not rely on the government's appraisal as the fair market value of your property;
  • You have the right to be heard in court and present evidence that the state failed to offer you just compensation; and
  • You can contest that the government's proposed use of the property is not intended for the public use.

Where Can I Turn For Help?

Tampa Bay eminent domain proceedings are stressful. You need an accomplished, compassionate, and tireless advocate on your side. Attorney Eric T. Taylor understands the process and will fight to protect your rights. Call Tampa Bay eminent domain attorney Eric T. Taylor today at 813-259-4444 to schedule your free consultation.

Sources: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe679

Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Florida Constitution and Statutes Article X, Section 6; Chapters 73, 74, 163, and 166 Florida statutes

Call the Tampa Eminent Law Firm of Eric T. Taylor Immediately If You Receive Notice Of An Eminent Domain Proceeding

Tampa Bay eminent domain proceedings can be complicated and stressful. Do not try to negotiate a settlement with the government without talking to a qualified Tampa Bay eminent domain attorney. You have rights, and Attorney Eric T. Taylor knows how to protect your rights and property. Call Attorney Taylor today at 813-259-4444 to schedule your free consultation.