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Florida Supreme Court Hears Compensation Appeal In Rogers V. State Case

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The Florida Supreme Court is trying to determine whether forty Sarasota landowners should be compensated for land seized by the federal government.

A decommissioned railroad sits on the disputed land, which Sarasota County petitioned the federal government to seize and turn into a bike trail. The court is considering the original deed to the land to figure out ownership, but as Supreme Court Justice Barbara J. Pariente tells Attorney Mark Hearne, the document is over a century old.

“When were the deeds entered into?” Pariente asked during the hearing.

“1910,” Hearne replied.

“So you have some evidence of what their intent was?” Pariente asked.

“I think the intent was pretty clear from what was done with the property, and what was written in the deed,” Hearne said.

The landowners claim the deed is worded in such a way that the rail company can’t fully claim the land.

Matthew Seeger began his work in radio in 2012, during an internship he took with WUSF in Tampa. He went on to volunteer at 89.7 FM “The Voice” for several years as a news anchor and production assistant. He began working with the WFSU news team in January of 2015. In addition to reporting the news, Matt is a voice actor, having recorded and produced several creative audio pieces, as well as his own series for V89’s Vox Populi program called “Tales from Hell Creek,”-- a series of slice-of-life vignettes about dinosaurs.