Is the Government Taking your Property?

Government Taking Your Property?

The Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment is one of the provisions of the Bill of Rights that is not often thought about by a property owner until the Government exercises its power to take their property without their permission. Fortunately, The U.S. Constitution, and Federal and Florida law have made provisions to protect property owners from both unreasonable takings of property by the government, and, where the property is truly needed by the public, to assure that the owner receives full and fair compensation for the loss. These protections are highly effective only when asserted by a skilled, knowledgeable expert in the field of eminent domain.

It is clear that when the government physically seizes property (as for a highway or a park, for example) that it will have to pay just compensation. It is also clear that serious, sustained physical invasions of property (as in the case of low overflying aircraft, for example) require payment of compensation equal to the difference between the market value before and after the invasion. However, the amount and extent of the payment is usually in dispute. The government’s view of value may be, and often is, unrealistically low. They have often had years to plan their project, including how to pay the property owner the lowest possible amount. They have many attorneys, appraisers and other experts at their instant disposal to work against the property owner’s best interests.

Forman and Hanratty have had (many) years experience in achieving full and fair resolutions of even highly complex condemnation matters. We are fully aware of just how the government operates to use its power of eminent domain, and just as fully aware of how to protect our clients’ rights to be fully compensated. We regularly work with outstanding experts in their fields (appraisal, engineering, marketing, accounting, etc.) to put our clients on an even footing against the government.