Hansen v. CITY OF DELAND

Decision Date16 April 2010
Docket NumberNo. 5D09-669.,5D09-669.
Citation32 So.3d 654
PartiesRoy HANSEN, Jane Hansen, and Clifford D. Bergeron, Appellant, v. CITY OF DELAND, etc., Appellee.
CourtFlorida District Court of Appeals

Thomas P. Callan, G. Robertson Dilg, Alison M. Yurko and Timothy A. Dix of Thomas P. Callan, P. A., Orlando, for Appellant.

Ernest H. Kohlmyer, III, of Bell, Roper & Kohlmyer, P.A., Orlando, for Appellee.

PALMER, J.

Roy Hansen, Jane Hansen, and Clifford D. Bergeron (collectively "landowners") appeal the trial court's final judgment, which ruled that they failed to prove that the City of Deland ("City") had engaged in a taking of their properties. Finding no error, we affirm.

The landowners owned property located in an unincorporated area of Volusia County, near the Cross Creek Subdivision in Deland, Florida. That subdivision was naturally divided into two drainage basins, basin A and basin B. Three consecutive hurricanes in 2004, along with record amounts of rainfall in 2005, resulted in the flooding of a portion of the subdivision near basin B. In response to the flooding, the City pumped storm water from basin B to the dry retention area in basin A. Although the City never pumped any water directly onto the landowners' properties, after the pumping the water on their properties rose quickly and ultimately measured 12 feet deep at its highest level. The portions of the properties affected were low lying, former sink hole depression areas. The properties remained partially flooded for about 15 months. Each landowner lost numerous trees located in the flooded area.

The landowners filed suit against the City for inverse condemnation alleging that the flooding condition caused by the City's decision to pump storm water from basin B to basin A constituted an illegal taking of their properties and, accordingly, they were entitled to receive compensation from the City. The matter proceeded to a non-jury trial on the issue of liability. The trial court found that the City's pumping was the cause of the flooding on the landowners' properties and that the resulting standing water killed the trees. However, the trial court denied the landowners' claim for relief because the water did not affect the house or driveway on either property; only about one-tenth of one yard and one-third of the other yard was under water; the tree damage was aesthetic, not commercial damage; and the parties were allowed full use of their homes during the flooding. In short, the trial court concluded that the landowners had not established that a compensable taking had occurred because they failed to prove that they were temporarily denied any reasonable use of their properties. The court also noted that the destruction of the trees, if negligent, constituted a tort, which was not a cause of action alleged in the complaint.

The landowners maintain that the trial court erred in concluding that they were not entitled to be compensated for all damages caused by the flooding, including the loss of trees. We disagree.

A property owner can file an inverse condemnation claim to recover the value of property that has been de facto taken by a government entity. Fla. Dep't of Envir. Protection ex rel. Board of Trustees v. West, 21 So.3d 96 (Fla. 3d DCA 2009). Recently, in Drake v. Walton County, 6 So.3d 717 (Fla. 1st DCA 2009), the First District addressed a similar claim of inverse condemnation based on flooding. The court explained:

We have previously held that a county takes private property when it directs a concentrated flow of water from one property onto another, permanently depriving the owner of all beneficial enjoyment of their property. Leon County v. Smith, 397 So.2d 362, 364 (Fla. 1st DCA 1981); Martin v. City of Monticello, 632 So.2d 236, 237 (Fla. 1st DCA 1994). To assert an inverse condemnation claim based on such governmental action, the property owner must demonstrate that the government's action constitutes a substantial interference with her private property rights for more than a momentary period, and will be continuous or reasonably expected to continuously recur, resulting in a substantial deprivation of the beneficial use of her property. See Elliott v. Hernando County, 281 So.2d 395, 396 (Fla. 2d DCA 1973)(noting that "rain is a condition that is reasonably expected to continually re-occur in the future)"; Assoc. of Meadow Lake, Inc. v. City of Edgewater, 706 So.2d 50 (Fla. 5th DCA 1998); cf. Diamond K Corp. v. Leon County, 677 So.2d 90 (Fla. 1st DCA 1996)(holding that no taking occurred as a result of flooding of a creek in the
...

To continue reading

Request your trial
3 cases
  • Fla. Fish & Wildlife Conservation Comm'n v. Daws
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • August 16, 2018
    ...that the District enjoys sovereign immunity from a claim for inverse condemnation." Id. at 610 ; see also Hansen v. City of Deland , 32 So.3d 654, 655 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) ("A property owner can file an inverse condemnation claim to recover the value of property that has been de facto taken ......
  • Bradley v. City of Miami
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Florida
    • July 28, 2017
    ...to show "a substantial deprivation of all beneficial use" of the property to obtain just compensation. See e.g. Hansen v. City of Deland, 32 So. 3d 654, 656 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) See also Tampa-Hillsborough Cnty. Exp'y Auth. v. A.G.W.S. Corp., 640 So. 2d 54, 58 (Fla. 1994); City of Key West v......
  • Fla. Fish & Wildlife Conservation Comm'n v. Daws
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • April 10, 2018
    ...that the District enjoys sovereign immunity from a claim for inverse condemnation." Id. at 610; see also Hansen v. City of Deland, 32 So. 3d 654, 655 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) ("A property owner can file an inverse condemnation claim to recover the value of property that has been de facto taken b......
1 books & journal articles
  • Real property actions
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Florida Causes of Action
    • April 1, 2022
    ...965 (Fla. 5th DCA 1993), rev. granted , 626 So.2d 210 (Fla. 1993), approved , 640 So.2d 73 (Fla. 1994). 3. Hansen v. City of Deland , 32 So.3d 654, 655 (Fla. 5th DCA 2010) (“A property owner can file an inverse condemnation claim to recover the value of property that has been de facto taken......

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT