Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is the right or power of the government to take private property for a public purpose.  Therefore, eminent domain is one of the harshest powers that the government can use against its citizens.  There are only two instances where a twelve person jury (instead of six) is assembled to try a case in Florida:  Capital Murder and Eminent Domain.  In 1933, Florida passed a state statute, section 73.071, which provides significant protection for business owners who are seeking compensation for damages caused by eminent domain proceedings. Business damages may include:

  • Loss of profits
  • Costs associated with moving
  • Loss from selling or abandonment of fixtures and equipment
  • Loss of goodwill

Even if your business can continue after the taking, there may still be business damages in the form of lost profits.  However, you must submit a good faith written business damage claim within 180 days of receiving your “Notice to Business Owner” letter from the condemning authority.  Your claim takes time to prepare and must be prepared by a CPA or business damage expert.  Your business damage report must include an explanation of the nature, extent and monetary amount of damages.

There is no cost to you!  Florida Law allows a business owner to be professionally represented by a team of experts of his/her choice.  Rarely does the business owner have to pay for these services. Currently BHGD has three Certified Valuation Analysts (CVAs) on staff with over 30 years of experience with eminent domain cases involving business damages.  These include — David Hoffman, Mary Getsee-Stewart and Rebecca Lyles.

All of BHGD’s CVAs have received their certification from the largest nationally-accredited body of business valuation professionals, the National Association of Certified Valuation Analysts (NACVA) and are members of the Association of Eminent Domain Professionals (AEDP).  Rebecca Lyles is on the board of the AEDP and is very active with Continuing Legal Education.  David Hoffman has earned a reputation for being the “go-to guy” in the eminent domain field.

Our eminent domain experts work as a team with other eminent domain professionals, such as real estate appraisers and engineers — all under the direction of the client’s attorney.  We treat your case very seriously and often go to trial on behalf of our clients as expert witnesses. Our skill, knowledge and experience carries a lot of weight in the courtroom and typically gains a more equitable outcome for our client.  We have an unwavering passion for our clients and will take the time to fully understand your business.

You have the right to be educated and prepared for the decisions that face you, your family, your business and your future.  Let our eminent domain team provide you the service and advise you need to receive equitable compensation for your business losses.