Whether your property is commercial or residential, it can be seized. Government and private entities can utilize eminent domain to take private land for public use. If you’re faced with this situation, you have the right to be fairly compensated.

The Supreme Court broadly interprets “public use.” Some property owners find their land confiscated for dubious reasons and with unreasonable compensation. Learning about eminent domain in North Carolina is in your best interest as a property owner.

What Property Owners Should Know When Facing Eminent Domain in North Carolina

Eminent domain can be complicated for those affected by it. Here’s a list of essential facts to help you better understand the process.

1. Who Can Take My Property?

State, federal, and local governments can exercise their power of eminent domain for public purposes. Although government agencies are delegated this power, private condemnors like public utility companies and other third-party entities may also have authorization. 

2. What Are My Rights as a Landowner Under Eminent Domain?

You have two fundamental rights as a property owner if your property is being taken under eminent domain in North Carolina. First, the government, or any private entity, cannot infringe on your right to ownership unless the confiscation is meant for public use. Second, you have a right to fair compensation for your property and any resulting damage or losses.

3. What Qualifies as “Public Use”?

The Supreme Court uses these two tests to determine if “public use” applies to a particular case. 

  • Public Use Test: This test determines whether the public has a right to a definite use of the property. 
  • Public Benefit Test: This test determines whether the public would benefit if the entity were to acquire the property. 

Your North Carolina eminent domain lawyer can challenge the taking of property by showing that the project doesn’t qualify for public use or that your property isn’t necessary for the project. 

4. What Is Fair Compensation in This Context?

Fair compensation refers to the property’s fair market value while considering its highest and best use. The government or a third-party entity hires an appraiser to determine an offer that reflects this value. 

Unfortunately, the initial offer is often low. The offer may disregard expenses the property owner could incur, such as relocation or property damage. A North Carolina eminent domain attorney can help you fight for proper compensation. 

5. Why Do I Need an Eminent Domain Lawyer?

Eminent domain law is complicated for a layperson. When facing an eminent domain case in North Carolina, you must address various issues and complexities to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. 

Find the Help You Need

Dealing with eminent domain issues doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you have an experienced eminent domain attorney. Find skilled eminent domain lawyers in North Carolina who can help you manage the complex legal procedure, fight for proper compensation, and safeguard your rights.