So the NCDOT doesn't want your entire property. They just want to pay you for an easement to access your home or business property for utility lines. Or maybe they just want to run a drainage pipe underneath your property -- or temporarily park construction equipment, while widening a nearby road. (That's not so bad, you think.) Pay close attention to that easement agreement. They will likely pay you one time and one time only. Even if they come back in 10 or 15 years and decide they need to raise a utility pole in your front yard, or build a power transformer, or dig that drainage ditch deeper, you may not get paid any more. When a government agency wants to take your land for an easement or a right of way, here's some free advice... Get an attorney to read the fine print carefully, footnotes and all. Many eminent domain attorneys will likely do this for free! If you're thinking, "Well that's because you're lawyers," you're exactly right. As lawyers (two of whom used to represent the NCDOT), we've seen what can happen to unsuspecting property owners who don't fully understand what an easement contract may potentially imply...Read More
When the NCDOT contacts you with documents to take your property for a new roadway or other state project, it can be overwhelming and intimidating. Can they really condemn and take ownership of your home or business just like that? Yes. They can. Wouldn't it be comforting if you could talk to an attorney at the NCDOT who is sympathetic to your situation and could help guide you through the confusing and overwhelming condemnation and negotiation process? Or better yet, an attorney who used to work for the NCDOT who could give you the "inside scoop." Someone, for example, whose loyalties are now with the people - not the government. You can! And although there aren't many of these attorneys in North Carolina, you'll find two of them right here at the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm. Our Leaders - Former High-Level NCDOT Attorneys Stan Abrams and Jason Campbell used to negotiate on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Transportation as NC assistant attorneys general. One was even the primary attorney on the largest case the agency had ever faced at that point in time. Why did they leave? Here's their story... While the NCDOT has hundreds of resources...Read More
There are a lot of things about the eminent domain process that are unfair. The most upsetting is that the government can just come in and take your land whether you want to sell or not.
To help try to make up for that, there’s a law that says the government has to pay you for what it is taking based on your land’s “highest and best use.” This is an attempt to protect people who’ve been sitting on a piece of valuable land, but haven’t wanted to sell it for one reason or another.Read More
Anyone who has heard me speak at eminent domain seminars knows that I tend to discuss how the eminent domain laws in North Carolina can seem like they’re stacked against the property owner whose land is being taken by the government.
Here’s why it may seem like the laws are not in your favor.
The Government Is Legally Allowed to Overlook Certain Real Estate Laws
Laws are written by the legislature, elected officials who must stretch every government dollar – your tax dollars – as thinly as possible. These laws are then interpreted by appellate judges who serve on the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court. They are not trial judges, and typically they don’t hear directly from property owners or condemning authorities. They are not real estate professionals either.
The legislature and appellate courts can allow the government to purchase or condemn land from property owners and pay less than what the property would fetch on the open market. While this may seem unfair, it is perfectly legal and not uncommon.Read More
It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood – until the NCDOT comes knocking door to door.
When that happens, you know you’re in for a fight. And not necessarily a fair fight.
The good news (in a backhanded way) is that your next door neighbor may be in for the same fight. Maybe your neighboring business is losing half their parking spaces, or a next door neighbor’s home is being taken too. If that’s the case all of you may be in for the fight of your lives – or livelihood.
Band together. The Johnsons and their neighbors did. And, because there are often issues and situations an experienced eminent domain attorney may be able to address, that individuals might not necessarily consider, they hired us to review their individual claims.Read More
When it comes to hiring an attorney for a land condemnation, some may shy away at first because they think it might cost too much money. At the NC Eminent Domain Law Firm, we believe nothing could be further from the truth! We’ve often seen the opposite to be true.
In the 10 years that I’ve practiced eminent domain law on behalf of both individual property owners, and previously for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT), I’ve seen “do-it-yourselfers” make big mistakes. Breaks my heart every time.Read More
This typically means getting you to sign over your land as soon as possible for as little as possible. The negotiator’s job is not necessarily to pay what you feel you deserve for your property.
The course of your financial future could be significantly altered depending on whether you receive $20,000 or $200,000 for your home or business. But even if a property owner knows the NCDOT’s first offer isn’t fair, they may not know how to get a better price.
Here’s a case where a business owner wagered that he might potentially get a better price if he called us.Read More
staff who used to negotiate on behalf of the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT). As Assistant Attorneys General, they’d travel the state negotiating with property and business owners over what the government was willing to pay them (or not pay them!) for their property.
Why We Offer FREE Land-Taking Seminars
During these negotiations, they realized that many property and business owners were unaware that the laws can be very different for the government than for private owners. In fact, they felt that the “system,” at times, seemed unfairly stacked against the property owner. Time and again these attorneys saw owners try to negotiate on their own, only to unwittingly leave good money on the table.
Attorney & Author Jason Campbell has been involved with the I-540 project for nearly as long as it’s been on the drawing boards. Before joining the NC Eminent Domain Law firm, he was a former Attorney General with the State of North Carolina and represented the NCDOT in property negotiations, including those for the I-540 project.
Orange you glad the NCDOT finally settled on a route to complete I-540?Read More
Could refinancing your home determine whether you get the proceeds from your property condemnation – or your mortgage company does? Here’s what you need to know.
Property owners facing condemnation are often worried about enough – what the government is taking, what will be left of their property, whether they are being offered a fair price, and when they are going to get their money.
Yet some property owners who have mortgages on their property may have to face an additional worry – the terms of their loan.Read More