Eminent Domain Basics
North Carolina eminent domain, also known as “condemnation” or “land condemnation,” is the process by which the local, state or federal government takes ownership of private property for public use. Some agencies that serve the public, such as utility companies, may also use the power of eminent domain in certain instances to take private property. When property is taken under the power of eminent domain, the government or the agency responsible is required to pay “just compensation” for the property, based on its fair market value.
Often, the government invokes eminent domain for public works projects such as road widening, highway construction, or installation of new electrical or plumbing lines. The power of eminent domain can also be used for the construction of new schools, libraries, police stations, or other public-service properties.
Not only must the government show that taking your property under eminent domain is for “public use,” it also must show that the taking is “necessary.” For example, if the installation of new power lines requires 100 feet of your property, then the government doesn’t need to take 200 feet. Eminent domain can be used to take all or only part of a property, and the government must show that whatever land is taken is necessary for public use.
North Carolina Eminent Domain Abuse
Public use can be broadly defined, leading to the seizure of private property for questionable reasons. For example, there have been many cases of the government seizing private land in blighted areas to redevelop, and of taking private property to make way for the development of shopping centers, movie theaters and other commercial establishments.
Many of these cases have been upheld by the courts, even when the sole purpose of exercising eminent domain was to increase tax revenues.
North Carolina Eminent Domain Lawyers
The government can take your property through eminent domain even if you do not want to sell it.
When you are notified that the government wants to take your property through eminent domain, you may feel confused and intimidated. Government officials will invoke their “right” to take the property, and you may feel that you have no other options or that if you try to fight the taking that you will stand in the way of public progress. The government may make you an offer that seems reasonable and fair, even showing you an appraisal, and you may think that you don’t deserve more for the property.
A qualified eminent domain lawyer can help you understand your rights under the law. An eminent domain lawyer can help you determine whether the taking of your property is truly justified and whether the amount you are offered is truly just compensation.
If you have recently discovered that the government wants to take your property under eminent domain, call the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm to find out if one of our North Carolina eminent domain lawyers can help you. Our attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, which means that our attorney’s fee is based on a percentage of the additional amount that we recover for your property. If we don’t get results for you, we don’t recover any attorney fees.
Call 877-393-4990 right now for a free case evaluation! A qualified North Carolina eminent domain lawyer may be able to help you save your land or to get the full compensation that you may deserve for your property.