Eminent Domain Basics in North Carolina

This is the power of the government to take or condemn property. The taking has to be for

1) “public use,” (examples include building or widening a highway or road in North Carolina, constructing a school)

2) without the land owner’s consent,

3) the government has to pay just compensation for the value of the land taken.

The term “government” includes most federal, state, and local government agencies and entities (e.g., NCDOT, Counties, Municipalities, Municipal Planning Organizations, and School Districts).

Also under eminent domain, “government” can mean quasi-public entities,  public utility companies like Duke Power. These entities possess eminent domain powers even though they are technically private companies (Duke Power, Piedmont Natural Gas).

You have rights to challenge these takings of your real property. Keep in mind, unless you have special circumstances, these types of challenges are typically unsuccessful.

When there is an eminent domain taking, the property owners are entitled to compensation for the taking, which may include some or all of the following damages:

  • Fair Market Value of the land taken (this is a battle of expert appraisers on both sides);
  • Improvements on the real property, such as fixtures and equipment;
  • Costs to relocate;
  • Interest, costs, attorneys’ fees, and appraisal fees (in inverse condemnation cases).

Call the Eminent Domain Lawyers at Hendrick Bryant Nerhood Sanders & Otis, LLP at 336-723-7200