Eminent domain is an often controversial application of the law when government agencies want to seize certain property and use it for some civic project. The problem often comes in when the government cannot present a compelling reason to claim the seizure is for the betterment of the community. While the community may benefit overall, eminent domain decisions can have serious adverse effects on many businesses other than the ones being purchased. This occurs far too often, and many times business owners even lose a livelihood due to the government confiscation of property even when a fair market price is paid. Now a new law in Florida allows business owners to sue when government decisions negatively impact their profitability.
Primary seizure claims
The new legislation will apply directly to those who own businesses in the particular location that is being targeted for any new municipal project under eminent domain orders. This is the traditional format for use of the legal doctrine, but until now has only included paying fair market value for any property that is wanted without any additional concerns.
Additional application for affected businesses
One of the most interesting aspects of the new Florida legislation is that other affected businesses could have standing to file claims as well even if their property is not targeted. The alteration to condemnation power also leaves the door open for any business owner who sees a reduction in profits with an operation that is impacted by any particular municipal improvement project.
The enactment of this law will have the potential to help those who are victims of the mission of growth that many politicians and city planners envision in developing any region in the state. It will also make municipal governments think diligently before invoking eminent domain authority.