In the latest round of opinions stemming from Flagler Beach’s ongoing dispute with one of the local golf courses (see the earlier opinion here), last Friday, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal issued an opinion regarding a condemning authority’s entitlement to recover court costs incurred in inverse condemnation actions. In Caribbean Condominium Ltd. Partnership v. City of Flagler Beach, Case No. 5D14-205, 2015 WL 5456819 (Sept. 18, 2015), the Fifth District faced the question of whether a condemning authority – in this case, the City of Flagler Beach – is entitled to recover its court costs under Florida’s “prevailing party” statute, Section 57.041, when the condemning authority successfully defends against a private property owner’s inverse condemnation claim. In Caribbean Condominium, the City argued that it was entitled to recover its costs as the prevailing party, while the property owners argued that under Florida’s eminent domain-specific statutes, condemning authorities are solely responsible for paying court costs. In other words, the City argued that general civil procedure rules should apply, while the property owner argued that eminent domain procedure should apply. The Court ultimately found in favor of the City, reasoning that because the owner’s inverse condemnation claim failed – i.e., that no taking occurred – the condemnation statutes do not apply. The Court held that the City was entitled to recover its costs from the owners as the “prevailing party” under 57.041, Florida Statutes.