This blog recently discussed how just compensation for a government taking of property may be calculated. It can also be helpful to consider the eminent domain process in Florida when property is taken for a public use such as a roadway or other transportation project. When that is the case, there is a process the government follows.
The Florida Department of Transportation, like other government entities, has the power to take private property for general public use. The government has this power according to the federal constitution, as well as the Florida constitution. The taking must be determined to be for a public use and the fair market value of the property must be offered to the property owner.
The process begins with a notice describing the property that is being taken and the rights of the property owner. An offer not less than the property’s estimated value will be offered to property owner for the property. The property owner can negotiate with the department for 30 days and if they are unable to agree on a price for the property, the department then files an eminent domain action. The property owner and the department can continue to negotiate the price and if they agree, the action will be ended otherwise the action will determine the just compensation the property owner should receive for their property and the taking.
In addition, the government is responsible for paying certain reasonable expenses of the property owner during the eminent domain process. It is helpful for Floridians facing a taking of their property to understand this process and their rights associated with this process so they can better protect their interests in circumstances of eminent domain.