In the wake sinkhole developments, do you know your rights? - WFLA News Channel 8

In the wake sinkhole developments, do you know your rights?

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

When a sinkhole opened in his Seffner neighborhood, Jeff Allen wasn't quite awake.

Allen says, Hillsborough County Deputies knocked on his door, and ordered him to leave.

Allen says, "They just said that we had to evacuate, it was a sink hole."

Over the weekend, Allen and his family were given just thirty minutes to remove the things most important to them from their home.

Attorney Lorena Ludovici says the government does have the right to order a homeowner out of their own house if there is an immediate threat to life.

Ludovici says homeowners property rights are considered among the most important in the state. In Florida, there are only two instances when a jury panel has to contain twelve members. That's in the case of a capitol murder case, or an eminent domain property case. "That's how important and how protected property rights are.", says Ludovici.

Still she says, the government has the legal authority to protect the public welfare. " It's subjective, you know, who says it can be a half hour, an hour and you know it gets into a fine line of when is government conduct for the protection of the health safety and welfare of the people and when is it crossing that fine line into abusive conduct."

Ludovici says if government oversteps it's authority, " That's the stuff lawsuits are made of."

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