Our practice is committed to championing the civil right of private property ownership for property and business owners alike who fall under the sovereign power of eminent domain in the context ofdirectorinversecondemnation.
Direct condemnationis most often employed by a governmental entity in taking private property for construction of public infrastructure projects (roads, water, sewer), public buildings, or assembling environmental preservation lands. It also is used by quasi-public entities authorized by statute to use the eminent domain power for the construction of lineal facilities like electric transmission lines or gas transmission pipelines.
Inverse condemnationinvolves the taking of private property by government without payment for which the owner must file a lawsuit seeking compensation. This may occur in cases of a physical invasion, like permanent flooding due to a change in stormwater management relating to government action. It may also occur in cases of regulatory taking where it is said that the government’s action goes too far so as to be regarded as a constitutional taking, such as the adoption of land use controls that take away all viable uses of a property.
When there is reasonable necessity and public purpose for a taking, the owner is constitutionally entitled to receive full compensation. The measure of full compensation is that amount of money which makes the owner whole; it follows an equitable standard. The owner is to be put in the same position financially after the taking as the owner was before the taking.
Under Florida law, the condemning authority is required to pay the owner’sattorneys’ fees and costsas part of the measure of full compensation This applies to takings under color of state law.