Who has the authority to initiate condemnation proceedings in North Carolina?
In North Carolina, various entities, both public and private, can have the authority to initiate condemnation proceedings. The power of eminent domain is typically granted to specific government agencies or bodies, but private entities may also be authorized in certain circumstances. Here are some examples:
North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT): NCDOT commonly exercises eminent domain authority for public infrastructure projects such as roads, highways, and other transportation-related initiatives.
Municipalities and counties in North Carolina may use eminent domain for public purposes like redevelopment projects, public buildings, or utilities.
Certain public utility companies may have the power of eminent domain to acquire property for projects related to providing essential services like water, electricity, or natural gas.
Private Entities with Delegated Authority:
In some cases, private entities may be granted the power of eminent domain if authorized by the state for specific purposes, such as the development of projects that serve a public purpose (e.g., a private company building a toll road).
It's important to note that regardless of the entity exercising eminent domain, the condemning authority must follow strict legal procedures, provide just compensation to property owners, and adhere to the constitutional principles that protect property rights. Property owners have the right to challenge condemnation actions and seek fair compensation through legal avenues.
If you are facing condemnation or have concerns about the initiation of condemnation proceedings, consulting with one of RHR’s attorneys who specialize in North Carolina condemnation law is crucial to understanding your rights and options.