Can Eminent Domain Take Your House?

The question assumes that eminent domain is a person or entity that can do something. Eminent domain is a tool, not an entity or person. It is analogous to a specific type of wrench that allows a mechanic to perform a specific task. The idea that the government may take someone’s house and convert it or the land underneath to public use is quite emotionally charged. Americans tend to find their value, memories, and comfort in their dwelling. However, eminent domain can be used as a tool to take someone’s house if that house is deemed to be in the way of a government project.

            All is not lost. The government can only take your property for a public use. If the taking is not for a public use, then the government can be stopped. You should consult an attorney if you have questions about whether the taking of your property is for a proper public use. Also, the government must give you just compensation if they elect to take your property. The issue of just compensation is where most cases end up. It is highly recommended that you consult an attorney on this issue as well.

            Furthermore, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the North Carolina Relocation Act which provides certain homeowners with compensation for moving expenses if they have had their home taken under eminent domain. It could be that the government does not want the entire property that you own. This is the common case for homeowners that own land on major roadways. In those instances, the home itself will be spared. Only a few yards on the road frontage will be taken.

            Regardless of how much land is taken, if you are a homeowner facing an eminent domain case, you should reach out to an eminent domain attorney immediately to make sure you get the best outcome for you and your loved ones.

Our firm focuses on three practice areas: Disability, Personal Injury, and Eminent Domain. Every practice area has attorneys who have expertise in their respective area of practice. 

Chad Brown is a North Carolina Board Certified Social Security disability law specialist. Mr. Brown helps Social Security disability claimants at all stages of the disability process. He also works with people that have Long Term Disability denials and with people that are injured by drugs and defective medical products.

Your Questions Answered

What Is the Public Good for Purposes of Eminent Domain?

The question above asks a question that seems to coincide with one of the two main restrictions that the constitution places on the government before it can take private property. However, what is being referred to here as “public good” is actually referred to as...

read more

Can Eminent Domain Be Used for Economic Development?

This question was brought to many Americans’ attention in 2005 after the decision for Kelo v. New London was handed down by the United States Supreme Court. In that case, the Court stated that government could condemn property and convey it to private entities for...

read more

Can Eminent Domain Be Challenged?

The state and federal government do have the inherent right to exercise eminent domain. This inherent right is not expressly given in either the United States Constitution or the North Carolina Constitution. However, those documents do act to restrict the government’s...

read more