Eminent domain is the term used to describe the power that is given to local governments, which allows them to take control of privately owned property and convert it to public use. The concept of eminent domain is controversial at best as it gives the government the ability to take Orlando, Florida, residents’ properties and use it for other purposes. While there are certainly some drawbacks to the practice, there are also some benefits that should be considered.
Benefits of eminent domain
Eminent domain was originally signed into law to ensure that privately owned land that stood in the way of public development could be converted to public property by the government. For instance, a privately owned tract of land that is in the middle of an area that is being turned into a local park can be seized by a local government. Eminent domain also allows for utilities to be expanded, enabling an area to grow and expand, which is beneficial to everyone who has an interest in its growth.
Drawbacks of eminent domain
The property owner who stands to lose his or her land is the party who suffers from eminent domain. While the law does state that the government must try to buy the land from the owner for fair market value, there is no way to force a landowner to accept a financial offer for the property. If the government can prove in a court of law that the land is needed for further development, the property can be condemned and seized by the government.
Any landowner who finds him or herself dealing an issue of eminent domain and potential condemnation should quickly obtain legal counsel for help in his or her battle against the local government. An attorney can review the claim to the property filed by the local government while reviewing past cases to help his or her client potentially retain control of his or her land.