What is Eminent Domain?
Eminent domain is the legal power of government to condemn private property for public or commercial use—provided the land taking somehow benefits the public. If a land owner disputes land condemnation, the court often defers to local or state authorities for an assessment of public benefit. Broad, lenient assessments allow condemnation to benefit private parties or businesses—even if future benefits never occur.
The 5th Amendment of the United States constitution limits the powers of the government’s sovereign right, stating: “…nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.” This section of the Constitution is referred to as the “takings clause” by the courts.
The courts define “public use” as a use that is designed to benefit the public as a whole—rather than a private entity. Confusing the matter are myriad appellate court opinions at both the federal and state level interpreting public versus private use. We often assist land owners who seek assistance against condemners who argue public use when their interests are—in fact—private.
Know the Law
In North Carolina, few laws to protect property owners from frivolous land condemnation or seizure under eminent domain. While the state constitution does not specifically address eminent domain, Article I §19 states: “No person shall be taken, imprisoned, or disseized of his freehold, liberties, or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or in any manner deprived of his life, liberty, or property, but by the law of the land. No person shall be denied the equal protection of the laws; nor shall any person be subjected to discrimination by the State because of race, color, religion, or national origin.”
The appellate courts have interpreted the above article to similarly limit the government’s right to take property without just compensation. The property rights attorneys at Henson Fuerst will do everything we can to protect your best interests. Get the help you need today. We don’t back down from the government or big corporations. We stand up for you.
We’re Here to Help
If you’re facing land condemnation—or the seizure of your home, business, church, or farm under eminent domain—you don’t have to face the government or big corporations alone. The experienced eminent domain and land condemnation attorneys at Henson Fuerst protect the rights of property owners across North Carolina—and we want to help you too. Call Henson Fuerst at (919) 781-1107 or complete our free initial consultation form.
When you call, you will speak with one of our knowledgeable North Carolina eminent domain and land condemnation attorneys absolutely FREE. Attorneys David Henson and Anne Fisher are committed to protecting the rights of property owners facing land condemnation.
Call Henson Fuerst, Because Your Case Matters