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How You Can Protect Your Property in a Florida Eminent Domain Case

We have a variety of types of property in our possession.  Some of us may own homes, land, office buildings, and so on.  We may own personal property such as boats and automobiles.  Others may own intangible property that could include brands, patents, and so on.  All of these types of property have one thing in common and it is that they all have ownership value to them.  When property showcases this feature, they are exposed to what is known as the power of eminent domain by the government.

Eminent domain is the law that allows the government to have the power to basically obtain any type of property that you own.  This could be something intangible such as a logo or a patent or it could be something such as a home, a piece of land, office building, virtually anything with ownership value.  The government needs to do two things to execute their power via eminent domain.  The first is to prove that the property is needed for the use of the public and the second is that they need to compensate you via fair market value.  So how best can you protect your property in a Florida eminent domain case?  Let’s take a closer look.

Male Judge Writing On Paper

Seek Out an Attorney to Assist Your Case

The one thing that you do not want to do in the majority of cases is to try and go at it alone against the government.  They have far more power and resources than you do as an individual, as well as knowledge of the applicable federal and state laws in Florida.  Step one when you are faced with an eminent domain case is to seek out an attorney that is going to be able to assist you in a variety of ways.

Attorneys in each respective state are going to be very knowledgeable of their applicable state laws.  When you are working with an eminent domain attorney in the Jacksonville, FL area they’ll be able to help guide you through the process of an eminent domain case.  There may be state-specific laws that they have experience working with in terms of nuances of the eminent domain law in your state that can benefit you.  Working with an attorney is going to ensure that if there are advantages to your case based on your state’s law, those advantages will be used to your benefit.

Making Sure You Get Fair Market Value

The vast majority of eminent domain cases are going to end with the government getting the property that they want.  One way to protect your property and your assets specifically, though, is to make sure that you truly do get fair market value for what is being taken from you.  What will happen here in terms of determining fair market value is that the government will typically start with an offer to you based on an appraisal they had done or knowledge that they have of your property.  It is important to know that you are entitled to your own research and opinion in terms of what fair market value typically is.

Your eminent domain attorney is likely going to advise you to seek out an appraiser of your own independently.  In the event that they come back with a number that is higher than what the government offered, you will then be able to proceed with that and have evidence as to why you think you should be getting more for your property.  Disagreements between you and the government could end up in court, where a judge will act and essentially make a decision on his own as to what the true value is and what you compensation will be.

The government needs to be able to prove that your property is absolutely necessary for the use of the public.  In the event that they fail to do this, they won’t be able to exercise eminent domain to take that property from you.  Working with an eminent domain attorney can give you at least a fighting chance of trying to protect your property and keep it for yourself.  In the event that it does not appear as though you’ll get the result you want, though, at least you’ll be able to virtually guarantee that the compensation you receive is fair and just.