Your Rights As Property Owner Under Eminent Domain

Your Rights As A Property Owner

When the government notifies you that it wants to take your property under eminent domain, you may feel like you have no rights. The government may be telling you that it has the power to seize your property and that your property is necessary for the completion of a public project.

You may feel too intimidated to challenge these claims, or you may feel that doing so would be standing in the way of public progress.

No matter how large the project, and no matter how small your property or how pre-determined the case may seem, you have rights as a property owner in North Carolina.

Necessary Use

The government cannot just take your property. A condemning authority must show that your property is necessary for public use in order to take it under the power of eminent domain.

Your entire property cannot be seized if only a portion of it is necessary for a public project, such as a road widening or utility installation. No part of your property can be seized if the proposed project will not be classified for public use.

A qualified North Carolina eminent domain lawyer can help you determine if you can fight the taking of your property under eminent domain by challenging the notion that it is necessary or challenging the classification of the proposed project as being for "public use."

Just Compensation

You are entitled to just compensation for your property, whether the entire property has been taken for an eminent domain project or whether only a portion of it has been taken for a road widening or similar project.

Just compensation is typically based on the fair market value of your property. However, in our experience, the government may try to pay you the lowest price possible — just like any private buyer.

The price the condemning authority offers you for your property may not be what you deserve, and it may not factor in variables such as damages to your property from a partial taking, relocation expenses or business losses.

A North Carolina condemnation attorney may be able to help you determine just compensation in cooperation with a team of experts.