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

Why is Eminent Domain Legal?

The legality of eminent domain goes all the way back to the Roman Empire. However, American law has recognized the right of eminent domain as an inherent power that precedes any government statute and even the Constitution. The recognition that the courts have given...

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Who Can Exercise Eminent Domain?

Generally, any sovereign government may exercise the inherent right of eminent domain. Eminent domain is an inherent right that is deemed to exist automatically within the borders of a sovereign government. A government is...

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What Is the Purpose of Eminent Domain?

Eminent domain is the inherent right of the government to take private property that is owned by a private citizen and convert it to public use. The primary purpose for eminent domain is the “public use.” Typically, this entails taking property, usually land, in order...

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