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Lawyer - Charlotte, NC
“[N]or shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.”
United States Constitution: Fifth Amendment
The right of eminent domain is the government's right to take private property for public use as long as it provides just compensation. The government action of exercising eminent domain and taking property is called condemnation.
Points of Litigation
What is generally litigated in eminent domain or condemnation cases is whether the client is being given just compensation for his or her private property. Most cases require the property owner to negotiate or litigate in order to obtain the compensation deserved. Effectively arguing on your behalf, our law firm frequently involves experts to determine fair market value and accurately appraise property to obtain the best possible outcome in your favor.
When the government takes only part of your property, the remaining property suffers a loss in value which is considered damage and must also be compensated.
A Representative Case in Eminent Domain
In one case, our client's residential property, near two major arteries, was surrounded on three sides by shopping centers, restaurants, and commercial warehouses. The North Carolina Department of Transportation offered her a modest settlement for her residential-use property. Before coming to see our firm, she retained a lawyer who had tried for a year, unsuccessfully, to negotiate with the DOT to increase the state’s offer. We engaged a commercial appraiser, who appraised her property for commercial use, rather than residential use. The commercial appraisal resulted in an immediate settlement that was more than 500 percent higher than the NCDOT originally offered our client. In all types of matters dealing with “damages” (dollars paid to an individual), the client loses if the lawyer doesn't know what he is doing.
As former Assistant Attorney for the City of Charlotte in charge of eminent domain (condemnation) matters, Paul Whitfield brings his years of eminent domain experience to the negotiation table and the courtroom.
To arrange a consultation to discuss your eminent domain concerns, please call or email our office and we will schedule an appointment to speak with a lawyer at your convenience.