NCDOT is required to make every reasonable effort to acquire your property through negotiation.  In the event NCDOT is unsuccessful in negotiating the purchase of your property, a condemnation action will be filed pursuant to Chapter 136 of the North Carolina General Statutes to acquire the subject property.  

Condemnation is the formal process whereby the government files court proceedings to condemn or take certain property interests in land for a public project pursuant to its power of eminent domain.  

  • A Complaint and Declaration of Taking must be filed in Superior Court to condemn property.  NCGS § 136-103.
  • NCDOT is required to deposit the sum of money estimated to be just compensation for the landowner.  NCGS § 136-103.
  • The landowner may apply to the court for disbursement of the money deposited in the court without prejudice to challenge the amount of just compensation in further proceedings.  NCGS § 136-1035
  • Upon the filing of the complaint and deposit made by NCDOT, title to the condemned property, together with the right to immediate possession, shall vest immediately with NCDOT.  NCGS § 136-104.
  • The landowner shall have 12 months to file an answer for the purpose of seeking a determination of just compensation.  NCGS § 136-107.
  • The landowner has the right to a trial by jury to determine the issue of damages.  NCGS § 136-112.
  • All other issues in the case, such as the identity of property parties, title to the land, interest taken and area taken, will be determined by the judge.  NCGS § 136-108.
  • The Judge may continue the trial until after the highway project is completed in order to allow the parties the opportunity to show the true effect of the condemnation upon the subject property.   NCGS § 136-110.
  • The landowner has the right to engage in discovery in the form of depositions and document requests.
  • The landowner has the right to call witnesses at the trial, including expert witnesses on the issue of damages.

The taking may include real property, improvements, easements (both permanent and temporary) and damages to the remaining portion of the property.  In cases where the government provides you an offer, request a copy of the appraisal and contact and expert in the area to determine if the offer of compensation is just.  At this early stage in the condemnation proceedings, we recommend that you seek a free consultation with a lawyer to fully understand your rights on the prospective taking.  The lawyers at Carolina Eminent Domain will provide you with a complimentary consultation for the purposes of better analyzing the government’s offer.

Along with the formal condemnation filing, the government will deposit with the court the amount determined to be just compensation.  The initial deposit is your money and we can assist you in securing a disbursement of those funds.  In order to determine whether you are owed additional compensation, we recommend that you consult with an attorney who specializes in the area of eminent domain. 

The lawyers at Carolina Eminent Domain will provide you with an honest evaluation of your case at no charge.  Our job is to make sure you receive all compensation in which your are entitled under the law.  If, after the initial compensation, you decide to hire us, we will take your case on a contingency fee basis – meaning we will only earn a fee if you obtain compensation in excess of the amount offered or deposited by the government.  Please feel free to contact us at 919-459-2192.