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Eminent Domain & COVID-19: What Property Owners Should Know

We understand that you may have legal questions given the evolving news and updates around the spread of COVID-19.
We remain dedicated to your success and are here for you. Let us know how we can help.

Cities and counties across North Carolina are rapidly enacting stay at home orders and proclamations in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are involved in condemnation litigation, it is important to understand how the stay at home proclamations may affect your case.

Chief Justice Beasley issued an order on March 19, 2020 that extended deadlines and periods of limitation. Documents due to be filed from March 16, 2020 until April 17, 2020 will be deemed timely filed if received before close of business on April 17, 2020. In addition to extending the filing deadlines, Chief Justice Beasley’s order also extended the deadline for all other acts to be done in civil actions. This means that you will not be required to file any document or appear in court for your condemnation matter before April 17, 2020. Click here to read Chief Justice Beasley’s order here.

Despite these extensions, our Courts are not closed, and they are still processing filings, disbursements, uncontested motions and other matters that do not require an actual court appearance. It is also important to note that Chief Justice Beasley’s Order does not extend deadlines for filings in the appellate courts.

Although your condemnation case may be on hold during this period, road project construction will likely continue. Most cities and counties’ stay at home proclamations and orders provide exemptions for roadway construction. Below are a few examples of ordinances that permit the construction of roads and highways:

  • Wake County: Section 10(c) of the Wake County Proclamation of Emergency Restrictions describes the construction of roads and highways as “essential infrastructure construction” that may remain open.
  • Orange County: The Orange County Stay at Home Order permits businesses that operate primarily outdoors to continue to operate as essential businesses. Section F also permits transportation authorities to continue to perform services classified as “essential” by NCDOT.
  • City of Durham: The City of Durham’s Stay at Home Order permits businesses that operate primarily outdoors to remain open as if they were an essential business. Transportation authorities are also permitted to continue services classified as “essential” by NCDOT.
  • Mecklenburg County: Section 5 of the Mecklenburg County Stay at Home Ordinance permits individuals to leave their residence to perform work on “essential infrastructure” including roads and highways.
  • Guilford County: Section 5 of the Guilford County Stay at Home Ordinance permits individuals to leave their residence to perform work on “essential infrastructure” including roads and highways.

Just as NCDOT continues to plan and construct roadways, the experienced eminent domain attorneys at Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis continue to protect property owners’ rights at every stage of the condemnation process. We are actively engaged in settlement negotiations for just compensation and re-design discussions with condemning authorities.

We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about how we can advocate for your right as a landowner and ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation for your property. Please call Joan Davis or Kenneth Haywood at (919) 821-7700.

 

Given the evolving news and updates around the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), Howard, Stallings, From, Atkins, Angell & Davis remains open for business, and our offices remain staffed appropriately to meet your needs.  While many of our attorneys and staff will be working remotely during the coming weeks, rest assured that we are still available to you, our phone numbers and emails are still the best way to reach us.  We understand that you may have legal questions as we forge the path ahead. We remain dedicated to your success and are here for you. Let us know how we can help.

For your reference, we are compiling and analyzing state and federal legal updates here, which may effect your business. Visit our Business Legal Resource Center for updates. 

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