NC Supreme Court to Rule on Unfair Property Taking by NC DOT

The biggest landowner-related legal issue right now is the case called Kirby v. North Carolina Department of Transportation (NC DOT). The decision will affect property owners across all of North Carolina, not only the plaintiff in the case.

[David Henson, Tim Nerhood, and Anne Duvoisin Fisher at the NC Supreme Court in February 2016]

[David Henson, Tim Nerhood, and Anne Duvoisin at the NC Supreme Court in February 2016]

Here’s the case in a nutshell:  Right now, thanks to a law called the Map Act, the government can lay claim to your home or property if it believes that it may need to build a road sometime in the future – even 20, 30, or 40 years in the future. Meanwhile, you cannot make any improvements to your property, or do any development. If you want to sell your house, you have to disclose that it has been targeted by the NC DOT, which means that it probably won’t won’t sell easily, and you won’t get full market value of the houses selling around you. The NC DOT claims that the benefit of the Map Act is that it sets the value of the property early, long before the property is actually acquired, so that it saves money in the long run. But in the meantime, property owners are stuck with land and/or a home that is, for them, of considerably less value, with no recourse and no ability to fully enjoy their property while they own it. For example, if you were to buy a piece of property with the intension of building a home and the NC DOT lays claim to the property, you cannot build your home.

Again, this can go on for decades. Families who have grown old in a home on property designated for future development cannot easily sell that home to downsize for retirement—their homes will have lost a large chunk of equity.

Henson Fuerst Attorneys is at the forefront of fighting this unfair law, and we were proud to see our co-counsel on several of our Map Act cases, Matthew Bryant (supported by his partner Tim Nerhood), argue for our side at the NC Supreme Court a few weeks ago. This is very exciting for us, and we have every expectation that the court’s ruling will finally provide justice for our clients whose property has been “inversely condemned” by the State of North Carolina.

For Henson Fuerst land lawyers David Henson and Anne Duvoisin, attending an argument like this is as good as it gets! We’ll report again when the NC Supreme Court makes its decision.

We are representing clients across the state, including (but not limited to), Wilmington, Hampstead, Greenville, and Shelby. If your home or property is affected by the NC DOT’s abuse of the Map Act, our experienced land lawyers can fight for you, too. Call us at (919) 781-1107, or visit our website at, to schedule a free consultation.

For more information about your rights and the Map Act, visit our website at: 

Learn more about the Map Act from our YouTube video:

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Read about the Kirby case from the News & Observer: