FDOT WILL BE REPRESENTED BY AN ATTORNEY. SHOULDN’T YOU? ESPECIALLY IF YOU CAN GET THAT REPRESENTATION AT NO COST TO YOU?
When should I engage our St. Augustine Eminent Domain legal services? Engage us early in the process because here is how we can help:
- Form a strategy and plan for dealing with FDOT.
- Protect your communications so they are not later used against you.
- Draw on our vast land development experience and understanding of the St. Augustine and St. Johns County market.
- Gain approvals for land development such as rezoning, special use, conditional use, building permit, etc., when FDOT contends those uses are not permittable and, therefore, your property is worth less.
- Negotiate settlement terms.
- Prepare your case for trial to demonstrate the value of your property and achieve just compensation. This takes planning from the intial stages of your case.
The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) has been delegated the authority under the Florida Constitution to condemn properties for public purpose. The City of St. Augustine and St. Johns County have similar powers for their public improvement projects.
When the government takes your property through its eminent domain power, the government must provide you with compensation. The Florida Department of Transportation must also pay your attorney’s fees and costs, including experts. Under Florida law, FDOT must pay what the court determines to be reasonable attorney’s fees. St. Johns Law Group accepts those court decisions on the reasonableness of its fees so you do not have to come out of pocket. Under Florida law, a property owner’s compensation should not be reduced by the amount of attorney’s fees, expert’s fees and costs.
Our goal is to achieve the best possible result in your case. The classic taking is a transfer of property by eminent domain whereby the FDOT files a lawsuit against you to take your land. We stand ready to fight to protect your rights so you do not have to settle for less than you are entitled to under the law.
Finally, our lawyers have represented the other side and have the experience you need. As attorneys for the St. Augustine – St. Johns County Airport Authority, we have represented a condeming authority in bringing actions against many property owners. That experience gives us added background into the process and an understanding of each step a condeming authority must take to take your land. We have the knowledge and experience you need.