How Does Eminent Domain Work in North Carolina


Under eminent domain in North Carolina, state and federal governments can claim your private property for public or government use and must fairly compensate you. The US Constitution outlines eminent domain and its protections under the Fifth Amendment. 

Know Your Rights

Do you want to take steps to fight eminent domain in North Carolina? Perhaps you believe the government’s use of your property fails to serve a public purpose. Or you think you can fight it for other reasons. 

It’s essential to be realistic. 

Unfortunately, once the eminent domain process begins, you can’t refuse or resist the government’s claim. If the government needs your land for the public good, they will likely get it. 

Can You Negotiate? 

Yes, you can negotiate to get compensated fairly for your land. Negotiation is a complex process with the state or federal government doing everything possible to avoid spending much money. The government may offer unfair compensation at the start of negotiations. 

When you negotiate, the courts usually order you and the government to participate in mediation. If mediation occurs, a neutral third party, or mediator, will lead the meeting.

While the mediator doesn’t have the legal power to force either of you to settle the dispute, they attempt to understand both positions. The mediator will urge each side to agree upon a reasonable settlement price. 

If there’s no agreement, the case goes to a 12-person jury. The jury then decides the settlement amount you’re entitled to from the property seizure.

You want to get the highest possible dollar amount, which involves many complicated issues. You can’t research this on your own and expect an outcome that compensates you adequately. 

How Can an Attorney Help?

An experienced North Carolina eminent domain attorney helps you understand the process and advocates for your best interests. An attorney will do the following:

  • Hire independent appraisers to assess your property value fairly.
  • Determine whether the government’s proposed use will lower the rest of your property’s value.
  • Collect evidence and gather expert testimonies on your behalf to get a more just compensation settlement.

Let’s say the state wants to build a highway in front of your house. They claim a 25-foot land strip on your property. A competent eminent domain attorney will ensure your settlement addresses how this seizure affects your property value and will seek fair compensation for the land strip.

Protect your property and financial future. Hire an experienced professional who understands the eminent domain laws in North Carolina and can advocate for your rights as a property owner to receive the best settlement possible.