I regularly preach that a condemning authority must make sure the legal description in the resolution must match the legal description appraised by the appraiser, and must match the legal description in the petition in eminent domain. Pretty straight-forward.

A decision from this summer points out that the legal description must be clear, also.

In the Altman v Brevard County decision, the County used an easement description having two possible boundaries for one side of the easement. The Fifth District Court of Appeal found that the conflicting easement boundaries in the legal description rendered the County’s petition in eminent “fatally defective” and reversed the trial court’s order of taking.


Continue Reading Legal Descriptions for a Condemnation: They Gotta Match — But They Need to be Clear, Too!

photoIf the sounds of Christmas music bring feelings of goodwill toward all, family gatherings, Yuletide blessings, you’re not alone. Personally, I always make it an Elvis Christmas, rolling through the same ten Elvis songs for days at a time. Ho ho ho and thank you, thank you very much!

But let’s think of Santa, not just as a bringer of gifts, but as a user of property rights. After all, he lands on your roof. Get any permission for that, Mr. Claus?  What about the wear and tear to the roof?  If a typical adult male reindeer weighs 350 – 400 pounds, eight adult reindeer could weigh 2,800 – 3,200 pounds—over a ton.  Can your roof support that?  (This isn’t even including Rudolph, the sleigh, or Santa himself, who is no reed, weight-wise, according to a number of reports.)


Continue Reading Santa Claus is Back in Town and Make Sure He Pays This Time

You get a letter from a government agency notifying you that your property will be needed for a public project. Now what? Here are three things you should know:

  1. You’re entitled to an appraiser. This is vital. You want to have your own expert to provide you with an opinion on what your property sought