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Frequently Asked Questions About Eminent Domain in North Carolina

Answers from experienced Raleigh real estate attorneys

Since 1983, Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A. has represented clients in all types of real estate matters, including eminent domain and inverse condemnation. We are committed to advancing our clients’ interest by providing excellent legal services while maintaining the highest ethical standards. When a dispute arises over the exercise of eminent domain powers, our attorneys are ready to give sound advice and advocate vigorously for your rights. As a service to prospective clients, we’ve provided answers to the most frequently asked questions we receive on the subject.

Choose a highly regarded Raleigh law firm for eminent domain issues

Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A. represents clients throughout North Carolina and the Southeast. We serve as regional condemnation counsel for McDonald’s Corporation, Rite Aid Corporation, and Eckerd Corporation. We also represent Harris Teeter, regional banks, Chattanooga-based CBL Properties, Charlotte-based American Asset Corporation, as well as many businesses and landowners just like you.  To speak with an experienced eminent domain attorney, call 919-821-7700 or contact us online.

What does the term condemnation mean?

Condemnation means different things in different contexts. In the context of eminent domain, it refers to the government deciding to take private property, usually land, for public use.

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Can I stop the government from taking my property?

You can challenge an eminent domain taking by showing that the government does not have a legitimate public purpose for seizing your land, that the government has a reasonable alternative means of achieving its goals without seizing your property, or that the seizure of your property amounts to excess condemnation (the government taking more than it needs to accomplish its purpose).

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What happens if I don’t agree with the fair market value determined by the appraiser?

The government’s offer is not a “take it or leave it” proposition. You can challenge the government’s appraisal by presenting facts not previously considered, or you can hire an expert to appraise your property and offer that report as evidence of true market value.

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Can I receive more money than the government is offering?

A great deal of our eminent domain work involves negotiating higher settlements on behalf of landowners. Property owners should always consider the government’s offer of payment as the starting point for negotiations.

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Do local governments have eminent domain power?

Yes, municipalities — like states and the federal government — can exercise eminent domain power. But the requirements are still the same: they must demonstrate a legitimate public purpose and pay fair market value.

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Does your firm represent the government, too?

At Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis, P.A. , our eminent domain lawyers predominantly represent private landowners, commercial tenants and business owners.  On occasion, we have worked with local municipalities in their dealings with the eminent domain process.  In every case, we proceed with the utmost professionalism to provide extremely competent legal representation. When representing government entities, we strive to ensure full compliance with the law of eminent domain, to conclude the process in a timely manner, and to negotiate a settlement favorable to our client.

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Should I hire an attorney?

Anyone who has ever successfully negotiated a real estate deal understands the importance of consulting with knowledgeable legal counsel. A capable eminent domain lawyer understands the process and the applicable law — and in most cases can get you a far better deal than one you’d negotiate on your own.

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