The power of government to acquire private property for a public use is commonly known as the right of eminent domain or the “power of condemnation”. The power of eminent domain is incorporated in both the United State Constitution and the Constitution of the State of Florida. Because it is a power that is subject to the possibility of abuse, safeguards to protect the interests of the public are set forth in the Florida Constitution and the Florida Statutes.
To demonstrate how fiercely the property owners’ rights are protected, the Florida Statutes provide for a twelve-person jury to determine compensation – the only other time a twelve-person jury is required is on a capital murder case! Because condemnation proceedings must be conducted under strict state and federal rules, the preparation and filing of eminent domain lawsuits can be complicated and time consuming. Accurate identification of all parties having an interested in the property is essential to a successful condemnation action.
American Government Services has been providing statewide condemnation assistance to the Florida Department of Environmental Services since 1998 on federal projects such as the Rotenberger/Seminole Indian Lands Project and the Save Our Everglades Project. AGS is also recognized as the only title company approved by the Florida Department of Transportation to provide title insurance, closing and lawsuit preparation services on a statewide basis.