When you are facing a condemnation claim against your property, call the attorneys at Hendrick Bryant Nerhood Sanders & Otis at 336-723-7200 to represent you.

We are the attorneys who challenged and won a landmark victory for our property owner clients in the landmark Kirby v. North Carolina Department of Transportation. The Kirby case was a challenge to the constitutionality of the Map Act corridors in Forsyth County (Northern Beltway), as well as how it applies in Wake County (Southern Expressway I-540), Cleveland County (Shelby), Guilford County, Cumberland County, and Pender County. We fought for our property owners and will fight for you.


Our government has three immense powers:

  • It may take our liberty – the power to police and regulate
  • It may take our money – the power to tax
  • It may take our property – the power to condemn by eminent domain.

Our society is based on the ownership of property. Property, in all its forms, carries with it the right to freely use, enjoy, possess and dispose of such property. These attributes are fundamental rights which our courts are to safeguard and defend. Anything that destroys one of attributes destroys the property.

To advance our society for the benefit of all, we endow our government with the right to take private property for public use in exchange for the payment of just compensation. This right is set forth in the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and in our North Carolina state constitution “Law of the Land” clause.

In North Carolina, if the state or local government has determined that your property is required for the advancement of a public good – a park, a school, a road, or airport – the governmental agency will contact the owner to attempt to negotiate a price. If negotiations are unsuccessful, the state will file a condemnation action in the Superior Court, deposit a sum of money it has determined (in its sole evaluation) and take your property. The owner then has one year to answer and contest the value of the property interest taken by the government.

What is a condemnation case?

Condemnation:   The process by which property of a private owner is taken for public use, without his consent, but upon the award and payment of just compensation, being in the nature of a forced sale and condemner stands toward owner as buyer toward seller.

Inverse Condemnation:   A property owners can file a cause of action against a governmental defendant to recover the value of property which has been taken in fact by the governmental defendant, even though no formal exercise of the power of eminent domain has been attempted by the taking agency.   Inverse condemnation is a device which forces a governmental body to exercise its power of condemnation, even though it may have no desire to do so.  Inverse takings claims may include physical intrusion on to property, regulatory interference, and substantial interference with an owners’ property rights brought on by the government action directed at the property.

Just Compensation: is the full and perfect equivalent in money of the thing taken by the state.

Hendrick Bryant Nerhood Sanders & Otis, LLP  is the first law firm to challenge the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s uses of the Transportation Corridor Official Map Act N.C.G.S. 136-44.50 (“Map Act”) as violating the United States and North Carolina constitutions.  What began as seven Winston-Salem / Forsyth County property owners contesting NCDOT’s fifteen year restrictions on building improvements, refusal to condemn their properties and more endless years of waiting on NCDOT has become nearly 100 lawsuits on behalf of owners in six North Carolina counties.

Call the attorneys at Hendrick Bryant Nerhood Sanders & Otis LLP at 336-723-7200 to discuss your North Carolina eminent domain (condemnation) case