Why Can a State, Federal or Private Entity Take My Property?

November 9th, 2016

Your property can be taken through Eminent Domain, or Land Condemnation, through a number of state and federal rules and regulations. From a numbers perspective, most land is taken by the State of North Carolina‘s Department of Transportation. In addition to the DOT, however, your land can also be taken by the federal government, the North Carolina Department of Administration, local cities, counties or municipalities, and even—in some cases—private businesses.

Land may be taken for a whole host of reasons, including:

  • New or expanded roadways
  • Bridges or overpasses
  • Cell phone Towers
  • Railways or high speed rail systems
  • Underground public utilities, such as water and sewer
  • Above-ground utilities, such as power lines, cable, or communications
  • Hospitals
  • Public housing
  • Schools
  • Dams

Basically, your land can be taken as long as two conditions are met:

  1. The condemnation is necessary for a public use or purpose.
  2. They pay you “just compensation” for the land that is taken.

Now, the first condition—that the land is necessary for a public use—has a pretty low threshold. The government doesn’t have to pick the BEST road route, or use a design that impacts the least number of people, or even choose the one that costs the least. As long as they can show a public use or purpose, then they will be able to move ahead. In the majority of cases, you will not likely win this fight.

The second condition is about paying fair compensation. This one is trickier. “Fair compensation” is NOT what the government says your land worth. In fact, fair compensation is the value that your attorney negotiates, or what a jury says the land is worth.

Studies reflect that on average a landowner with a lawyer gets paid approximately three times what a landowner typically receives on their own.

The power of the government is impressive, and while you may not be able to stop the government from taking your land, you can fight to make sure that you receive fair value for your land that is taken.

For help negotiating the value of your land, call Henson Fuerst today at 919-781-1107. When you call, you will speak with an experienced North Carolina Land Condemnation and Eminent Domain Attorney absolutely FREE. We will investigate every detail of your situation at no cost to you and fight hard to protect your rights as a landowner.

Call Henson Fuerst, Because Your Case Matters

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