What is just compensation in North Carolina?
What am I owed?
Just compensation in North Carolina, in connection with eminent domain, refers to the fair and full monetary compensation that the government or condemning authority must provide to a property owner when acquiring private property for public use. The concept of just compensation is enshrined in both the United States Constitution and the North Carolina Constitution.
The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation. Similarly, Article I, Section 19 of the North Carolina Constitution provides protections for property owners, stating that 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. And, "The right of private property shall not be taken for public use, without just compensation."
In the context of eminent domain, just compensation typically includes:
1. Fair Market Value: The amount of money that would be paid in an open and competitive market between a willing buyer and a willing seller, both with knowledge of all the relevant facts.
2. Damages to the Remainder: Additional compensation for any decrease in the value of the remaining property due to the taking. This may include damages such as loss of access, loss of visibility, or changes in the property's utility.
It's important for property owners to understand their rights to just compensation and to seek legal representation to ensure that their interests are protected throughout the eminent domain process. RHR’s experienced condemnation attorneys can assist in negotiating fair compensation and, if necessary, represent the property owner's interests in court proceedings to determine just compensation.