Can the government really take your property in North Carolina?

The laws in North Carolina grant certain parties the right of eminent domain. That is, the right to seize private property for public use. Even though “public use” is not defined in the legislative statutes, the Supreme Court of NC has attempted to provide clarity to the term. However, as times and conditions change, so does the definition of what constitutes governmental duties and functions related to the power of condemnation for the benefit of the public.

North Carolina Eminent Domain Attorney

Who can seize your property in North Carolina?

Under the North Carolina General Statutes, Chapters 40A grants condemnation power to private entities such as cable companies, telephone companies, electricity providers and railroads. They also authorize public entities the power of condemnation. These entities include cities, counties, water authorities, local agencies and other publically operated agencies.

Chapter 136 of the North Carolina General Statutes authorizes the Department of Transportation, Department of Administration and other municipalities the right to condemn private land primarily for roadways and other state projects.

Who decides what your property is worth?

If your property is seized for public use, the law states that you must be provided “just compensation” for your property.

Once it is decided that the condemnor’s action of taking private property for public use qualifies under the law, the biggest issue faced by the land owner, is the amount the condemnor is providing as “just compensation”. The government’s concept of your property value and your idea of the value may be miles apart. Our US constitution does not define the exact meaning of “just compensation” nor does the constitution provide a method for making that determination. However, the North Carolina statutes do provide a framework and process for arriving at that value.

Must you accept the first offer?

As you can imagine, the government’s goal is to acquire property at the lowest possible cost to the public. That doesn’t mean private citizens are forced to accept their offer. The true value of your property may be significantly more than the condemnor’s offer. Don’t leave it to chance. The attorneys listed on this website are experienced in eminent domain and land condemnation disputes in North Carolina. There are a multitude of issues that must be considered to ensure you receive the highest possible price for your property. Don’t try to negotiate with the government on your own. Contact an eminent domain attorney now, before it is too late.

North Carolina Property Law – The Power of Eminent Domain

Have you been notified that your home, land or business is being condemned by a government agency for a roadway project, an airport expansion, reservoir, construction project, electric lines, a new school, library or other public project?


The information on this site is not legal advice. The information provided is intended to help the user learn about property rights in North Carolina and, if needed, to help the user find an attorney that specializes in eminent domain cases. We recommend you consult with an attorney for advice regarding your specific situation but do not recommend any particular attorney or law firm. The owner of this site is not an attorney and provides no legal advice. Please do not send any confidential information to us or to any attorney or law firm listed on this site.