Challenging Eminent Domain in North Carolina
The laws of North Carolina are clear. The state government and certain private entities have been granted the right to take private property for public use. As a private property owner in North Carolina, can you do anything to fight this action and keep your property?
Under certain circumstances you can challenge the taking of your property. In order for an entity to take private property, they must prove that the property is necessary for public use. With this in mind, it is possible to challenge the taking on the grounds that the proposed project does not qualify for public use or the taking your property is not necessary for that particular use.
The term “public use” is not well defined so it has often been left up to the courts to determine if a project actually qualifies under the legislative statutes. There have been examples of governmental abuse and outcries from the public due to what many believe to be heavy handed actions.
Therefore, an experienced eminent domain attorney may be able to argue that the taking of your property does not qualify under the current laws.
Eminent Domain Procedure
Another way to challenge the taking of your property is to show that proper procedures were not followed by the government action. A qualified eminent domain attorney may be able to prove that you were not provided fair notice or that the government acted inappropriately. In some cases, this will only delay the taking of your property and not stop it all together. However, if delaying the project were to increase expenses or push completion past an acceptable deadline, the condemning authority may decide to cancel the project.
If My Property is Being Taken by Eminent Domain, How Much Will I Receive?
If your attorney cannot stop the entity from taking your property they can at least help you secure just compensation. Under the laws of North Carolina, a condemnor is required to pay “just compensation” when taking private property for public use. You are not obligated to take whatever is offered. A land condemnation attorney may be able to prove that your property is worth more than what has been offered. It is in your best interest to consult with an experienced eminent domain attorney who can help ensure you know all your rights and that you receive fair and just compensation for your property.