Raleigh Attorneys Fight Government Land Takings in North Carolina
Experienced advocates for businesses and private landowners
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits the government from taking private property for “public use without just compensation.” Freeways, airports and heavily regulated utilities that serve the public at large are examples of public use. Governments have also used condemnation powers to remove public harms, such as slums. At Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A. we concede that the prudent use of eminent domain is necessary for the public good, but we recognize that the government can easily abuse its condemnation powers. Since 1983, our eminent domain attorneys have fought to protect our clients’ constitutional rights against violations by federal, state, county and local authorities.
Understanding government seizure of private property through eminent domain
North Carolina’s general statutes 136 and 40A allow government agencies and “quasi-public” (private) entities, such as railroads and utilities, to exercise eminent domain:
- Condemnation — North Carolina and U.S. eminent domain laws allow the government to take private property for public use. This may be a total taking or a partial taking of your property. You may fight the condemnation by challenging the government’s purpose. If you lose on that point (or choose not to challenge), you have a constitutional right to just compensation.
- Inverse condemnation — With an inverse condemnation, the government does not take your property outright, but it causes your property to lose value. This is still considered a taking, and you can claim compensation.
- Easements — Often, the government does not require complete control over a property, but it does need periodic or regular use of it as an ingress and egress. Although you still own the property, your ability to develop it is hindered by the easement, so you deserve compensation.
There are different ways to calculate compensation for eminent domain takings. Our eminent domain attorneys have litigated complex, high-stakes cases in which the property was valued at many millions of dollars. We can help you seek fair compensation in exchange for your property.
Expanded government power puts individual homeowners at risk
In Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was permissible for a government entity to take private property and give it to another private party for the purpose of economic development that would increase tax revenue. Critics warned that the ruling would allow reverse Robin Hood scenarios in which rich, politically connected developers could rob the poor out of house and home. Different states have addressed the implications of the Supreme Court’s ruling in a variety of ways. Our attorneys can explain how North Carolina has dealt with this issue and what can be done to protect your property rights in light of the recent changes in the law.
To learn more about our eminent domain attorneys, see these individual profiles:
Contact an eminent domain law firm in Raleigh to protect your constitutional rights
Howard Stallings helps businesses and individuals fight eminent domain actions. Often, we can limit the taking and compel the government to increase its compensation offer. To schedule an appointment, call 919-821-7700 or contact us online.