Eminent Domain Condemnation

Defending property owners against government takeover

Eminent domain — the power of federal, state, and local governments to take ownership of private property after providing just compensation — is an issue that any property owner can potentially face. But for some owners, a taking by eminent domain can be an opportunity to receive a favorable sale price for property. The state of Florida has some of the strongest laws in the nation protecting private property owners from eminent domain abuse by the state or local government. The state or local government must strictly comply with procedural requirements for a taking by eminent domain and may only do so for a number of clearly defined purposes. Burke Blue real estate lawyers understand these requirements and can help ensure the parties involved fully understand their rights and duties.


Laws passed in 2006 severely limit the ability of a municipality to transfer or lease condemned land to a private entity or to use eminent domain to alleviate or eliminate public nuisance. Property owners have rights against condemnation. At Burke Blue, our real estate lawyers help property owners assert those rights and protect their property against unlawful condemnation.


Representing owners facing condemnation for 45 years

When property owners cannot avoid condemnation or do not wish to oppose a proposed taking, their next concern should be receiving the best compensation possible for their property. Governmental units exercising their eminent domain powers have a statutory and constitutional obligation to pay just compensation to the owner. But exactly what constitutes just compensation can be an issue in itself. Owners should realize that, despite the power of eminent domain, there is still room to negotiate with the government prior to and after condemnation.


Experienced real estate lawyers can use the threat of litigation, the possibility of viable defenses to condemnation and time concerns to leverage more favorable compensation for condemned land. Additionally, proving the fair value of land can require consultation with various professionals such as engineers, economists and real estate appraisers. This is how the real estate attorneys of Burke Blue use their negotiating experience and connections in the community to secure fair compensation for their clients during condemnation actions. The great news for property owners is that, under Florida law, the property owner keeps 100% of the compensation awarded, and the government has to pay for the property owner’s attorney’s fees and fees owed to other professionals used on the case. Therefore, no property owner faced with an eminent domain matter should ever hesitate to retain competent Florida counsel for the matter.


45 years of providing comprehensive legal services to businesses and individuals throughout Northwest Florida


The hiring of an attorney is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience or contact us online or by phone at 850-769-1414 for Panama City; 850-236-4444 for Panama City Beach.