Eminent Domain Law and the Right to Survey in Florida

Eminent domain law in the state of Florida is complex. This law covers the compulsory purchase of land and property by government agencies for future projects, such as roads, utilities, or other projects. One of the most commonly cited forms of eminent domain is what is known as “right of way”. Here is what you need to know about eminent domain law and right of way surveying in Florida.

Right of Way in Florida

Under Florida eminent domain law, right of way surveys are boundary surveys which depict the limits of the private ownership of property and that of a public entity which has an interest in the property – be it a state, county or city government agency.

Right of way titles are usually held to be owned by the government agency which stakes a claim to the property. In this way, right of way differs from an easement, where the rights to the use of the property by others are concerned – not the ownership.

right to survey

How is Right of Way Determined?

For a right of way claim to be successful, extensive research is essential to make a correct determination of the land which is to be deeded right of way. This research is conducted by an experienced surveyor. The surveyor will investigate the route of any pipelines as covered under the Transmission Line Siting Act or the Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Siting Act.

If any additional rights of way which have been claimed by maintenance which has been uninterrupted for more than four years, a new, updated maintained map may need to be filed before a right of way is officially determined.  It should be noted that a right of way survey generally does not include any below or above ground improvements to the property, or a survey of any other features or encroachments other than the utilities subject to the right of way claim.

Fair Compensation for Right of Way Purchases

When the right of way has been determined, the government agency is required to acquire the land for a fair asking price. Usually, property owners are contacted roughly half-way through the process when the legal descriptions and sketches of the proposed utilities are planned. State law requires “full compensation” for property owners, meaning that they receive whole restitution for the loss of the land claimed under right of way.  This compensation includes the value of the land taken, as well as restitution for any damage to the remaining property, costs to remedy these damages, and reasonable fees for any experts hired by the property owner.

Contact an Experienced Florida Attorney Today

Because of the complexity of eminent domain and right of way claims in the state of Florida, if your property is subject to a right of way claim, you need to speak with an experienced and knowledgeable real estate and eminent domain attorney right away.

At Loshak Leach, LLP, we have a combined 15 years’ experience in Florida land use and zoning law. We provide our clients with custom tailored representation to help get them the compensation they deserve. Our firm offers unsurpassed customer service and personal dedication to you and your case. So, if you are looking for a land use and zoning law firm as committed to the successful transaction of right of way claims as you are, call Loshak Leach, LLP today at (954) 334-1122.

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