NCDOT Condemnation Procedure

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.  


Initiation of action and deposit

  • 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


Quick-take procedure

  • 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.
  • After filing of the complaint, the Right of Way department will send the landowner a notice to vacate.


Answer and request for additional compensation

  • The landowner shall have 12 months to file an answer for the purpose of seeking a determination of just compensation.  NCGS § 136-107.
  • Within 90 days from the receipt of the answer, NCDOT shall file a plat of the land taken as may be necessary to property determine the damages.  NCGS § 136-106.
  • Failure to file an answer within the time allowed constitutes an admission that the amount deposited with the court is just compensation.


Right to a jury trial to determine damages

  • 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.