Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Landowners' Condemnation Blight Judgments Affirmed

Today, Florida's Third District Court of Appeal affirmed the trial court's judgments in Florida DEP v. West, et al, awarding nearly ten times the State's "good-faith" deposits when it condemned two North Key Largo properties in 2004. The trial (and chief) judge, Luis Garcia, should be pleased with his decision to require the jury to consider the "highest and best use" of these properties as of February 8, 1982 -- the last day they were "buildable" -- but valued in the 2004 real estate market.

Judge Garcia found, on the testimony of two former County Commissioners from the early 1980's, and from the voluminous paper trail, that Monroe County was made an "offer it couldn't refuse" in 1982, and again in 1986, and so on until the present day. Former Governor Bob Graham got his conservation land back in '82 ... but these landowners have yet to be paid, in 2009. Though the State DEP could seek "discretionary review" from the Florida Supreme Court, the odds of getting such a review are slim, and the State is running up interest to the tune of $1,468 per day. As of this date, the State's appeal has added $556,247 to the Landowners' compensation (at 11%/year, they should appeal forever).

All in all, this was a good day for those Florida Keys' landowners who have rebuffed the governments' 10-cents-on-the-dollar offers for all these years. For more details, see the West-Freeman section of my website.

(Edited 10/22/2009 to include interest information.)

1 comment:

Choon James said...

Thank goodness, there is still some justice in the judicial system to offer 'check and balance' to this eminent domain abuse.

This is another blatant example of how some legislators and bureaucrats handle the taxpayers' money.

There is no accountability and a basic level of competence and professionalism. They are free to like idiots and tyrants and get away with it.

How ironic it is that taxpayers are paying these bureaucrats and legislators' salaries so they can do damage to taxpayers!