Partial Taking vs. Complete Taking in an Eminent Domain Case

What is a partial taking versus a complete taking in a North Carolina Department of Transportation eminent domain case? When the State of North Carolina takes your land by eminent domain, or land condemnation for a public project, you will lose ownership of part or all of that land. In a partial taking, North Carolina DOT takes only a portion of your land for their use. For example, if the city widens the roadway in front of your house, expanding it from two to four lanes, you may lose one part of your front yard, or part of your businesses’ parking lot, or access to the highway. When this happens the government agency is required to pay you for the land that has been taken.

In a complete taking, the government takes all of your land, either physically or practically. For example, the state may take your entire property to build a road across it. In some cases, a partial taking can become a complete taking. For example, let’s say that you have a one-acre lot worth and a house on it, and the state is going to take eight-tenths of an acre in the road expansion project. In that case the remaining two-tenths of the acre will be essentially useless and would be considered an uneconomic remnant, which means that you’ll be left with a small sliver of land worth nothing.

Effectively, this would convert the partial taking into a complete taking as well. You can see why land condemnation cases can be very complicated. You need a lawyer on your side to help protect your rights. Call Henson Fuerst today, 800-452-9633, or visit our website at