How Does the Eminent Domain Process Work?

The process for exercising eminent domain will vary depending on who the condemning authority is. For example, in North Carolina, the process for a private entity condemning property is different from the standards and procedures that the North Carolina Department of Transportation must follow. In fact, the North Carolina Department of Transportation must follow a different body of statutes than the other authorities that seek to exercise eminent domain.

            It is important to note that a condemning authority doesn’t suddenly decide to take a property. Projects that require the exercise of eminent domain are large and usually take years of planning. An evaluation of the property (or properties) is usually done long in advance of an owner knowing about the project. After the government decides that a particular set of properties need to be condemned, it must then have an appraisal completed for each property in order to make an offer to the owner.

            A landowner should typically refuse the first offer that is made on their property. If the owner refuses to voluntarily take the offer, the government can then decide if it needs to file a lawsuit against the owner in a condemnation proceeding. Many times, the government might settle by offering a better price for the land. This may sound a bit frightening. However, it is just a legal formality.

The lawsuit will be filed in the district court where the property is located. Also, for the suit to be proper, the authority filing the condemnation lawsuit must deposit the amount of their original offer with the court. This money is yours and represents the bare minimum that you will receive. The process will usually take up to a year. However, landowners should consult with an eminent domain attorney because the process might be only 120 days depending on the type of taking being pursed.

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 Does Eminent Domain Mean?

Eminent domain is an inherent right of a government to take private property and use it for public use. This right is deemed to be inherent because governments are typically sovereign over all the land within their borders. Therefore, given the superior dominion that...

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How Can Eminent Domain Be Used?

            Typically, the government or a public utility will attempt to use eminent domain in order to complete a project. The authority that seeks to use eminent domain activates its right to eminent domain...

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Can Eminent Domain Be Used to Take Personal Property?

To adequately answer the question, it is necessary to define what “personal property” is first. Personal property includes property that is both tangible and intangible which is not permanently attached to land. Tangible property is physical in nature. Meaning that...

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