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The Monroe Bypass: Your Condemnation



The Monroe Bypass project has been given the green light, and work is underway. Because of financing issues, many landowners along the proposed route will be contacted by the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) regarding the land needed for the project. This process uses the government’s ability to take land under eminent domain, but landowners are still owed compensation for this taking.

Our firm has litigated condemnation matters at the trial and appellate levels. Read about our case City of Charlotte v. Whipporwill Lake Inc.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What if I want to keep my property? The only way to prevent the government from taking your property under eminent domain is by proving the proposed project is not intended for a public purpose. In this case, it is clear the road will be public, and therefore it is not likely you will be successful in attempting to fight the project.

What if NCDOT is not offering me enough money? Under the law, the government must pay you just compensation for your property. NCDOT will use its own appraisers to value your property, but often landowners do not agree with these valuations. In these cases, it is possible to challenge the amount. Our attorneys can advise you on how to proceed. You do not need to accept the lowest offer just because it is from the government.

What happens if I have to move? In cases of relocation, you are owed just compensation for your property as well as relocation expenses.

Do I need a lawyer? If you think the NCDOT offer for your property value is fair, there is no need to hire an attorney. If you believe your property is worth more than the government is offering, you should contact our firm to see how to proceed. Hiring an attorney will give you the strongest chance of achieving the best compensation for your property. We can help with negotiations and work with NCDOT and your appraisers directly, saving you time and energy and allowing you peace of mind that you are not being taken advantage of.

How do I prove the value of my property? An appraisal is needed to show the worth of your land. Tax values may not be used for this purpose.

How much will attorneys fees cost? Our firm offers both hourly and contingency fee contracts. Under a contingency fee agreement, the attorneys are not paid until you receive your money. Your initial 30-minute consultation is free. These fees are often tied to the amount of additional funds we can obtain on your behalf.

What will I owe in addition to attorneys fees? In addition to attorneys fees, you will need to pay for the services of a certified appraiser, though this is not necessarily required. In addition, other court fees may need to be covered, but these are often nominal and can be discussed during your consultation.

Do I need an appraiser? Not every case will need an independent appraisal. Consult with one of our attorneys to see if this may be necessary in your case.

Will I get all the settlement money? If you own the land outright, you will receive the money owed in relation to the property. If you have a ground lease, the money will go to the landholder. Land with liens and/or mortgages attached will need a calculation to determine which percentage of the settlement is owed to the mortgage company.

How long will this take? Once a condemnation action has been filed against you, it could take anywhere from 12 to 18 months for a trial to commence. These timelines depend upon many factors, however, including how many cases are already on the court’s docket. No matter how long it takes for the case to proceed, if you are successful, you will be entitled to interest on your recovery.