News for Eminent Domain NC – Inverse Condemnation Cases. In a further development that affects all the Map Act Case, the NC Court of Appeals issued ruling this week in Jamestown Pender, L.P, v. NCDOT and Wilmington Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization, COA15-925 (November 1, 2016, unpublished). This ruling dismissed NCDOT’s various grounds for appeal as interlocutory (meaning the appeal cannot be done now because it’s not ripe) and affirmed Judge Traywick’s grant of plaintiff’s Rule 12(c) motion for partial judgment on the pleadings. Judge Traywick ruled in the trial court level that NCDOT had taken plaintiff’s property by the filing of a transportation corridor official map. The decision affirms what everyone in the State of North Carolina knew and understood, that the filing of legal restrictions on property using a map results in a taking of fundamental property rights as a matter of law.
This Court of Appeals decision should help each of the other counties with property owners trapped by Map Act filing, including Forsyth, Wake, Guilford, Cumberland, Cleveland, and Pitt Counties. In essence a 12(c) ruling means that if your property is in a Map Act Corridor then instead of fighting liability, we can proceed forward with battling over what was the area taken of your property and what was the value of that taking.
North Carolina used the Map Act for over 25 years on over 25 different highway projects to restrict free use of 1,000’s of pieces of property without any legal push back. The North Carolina Map Act was unlike any other roadway law in the United States, and most states had long since struck down such restrictions as unconstitutional. Not so in the Tar Heel state. Our law’s restrictions lasted forever, and imposed no duties on NCDOT to do anything for the owners. Our courts have now stood firm against such over reach, again.
Call the law firm that one the Map Act decision against the NCDOT in Kirby v. NCDOT