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What is a “Quick Take” in Eminent Domain?

Our North Carolina eminent domain attorneys are often asked, “What is a ‘quick take’”?

In this blog post, we’ll answer the question, “What is a ‘quick take’”?, and share some tips you can use if the government is taking your property with a quick take in North Carolina.

What is a Quick Take?

In North Carolina, the government has what is called “Quick-Take” statutes. Under Chapter 136 of the NC General Statutes, an authorized condemnor can file a lawsuit against you that immediately takes your property, or any part of it, as soon as it is filed with the court.

What is a Quick Take in Eminent Domain - NC Eminent Domain Lawyers - Riddle & BrantleyThis is a commonly used type of filing for many North Carolina government agencies. Many property owners are surprised by the complaint and summons they are served with and feel that they have to make rushed decisions about relocation of their home or business, or even just what to do next.

This is just one of the reasons why it’s important to have an experienced eminent domain attorney on your side as early as possible. If the government or a utility company is taking your property, call 1-800-525-7111 for a FREE, no-obligation consultation with an experienced North Carolina eminent domain attorney.

“Do I get paid for a quick take?”

A “quick take” filing gives the government immediate possession and dominion over the property taken. In return, they deposit their estimated amount of just compensation with the clerk of court where the case is filed. The property owner has immediate rights to the deposited amount.

In North Carolina, you can collect the deposited amount without prejudicing your case. This means that, once the case is filed, you can take the money they think it’s worth from the clerk’s office, but still continue to fight for further just compensation.

North Carolina Quick Take in Eminent Domain - Riddle & BrantleyAs experienced eminent domain lawyers in North Carolina, we always advise our clients to NOT accept the first offer from the government when they’re taking your property. You have the right to “just compensation” and should always fight for what your property is worth.

Our eminent domain attorneys can help. For a FREE consultation with an experienced NC eminent domain lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111 today.

We will review your case for free and advise you on your best legal options for seeking just compensation. We don’t get paid unless we get you additional compensation on top of what the government has already offered.

Quick Takes and Eminent Domain: Frequently Asked Questions

Will I have any advanced warning of any taking of my property?

The NCDOT and NCDOA have requirements to negotiate in good faith with property owners prior to filing quick take actions. This means that they will usually contact you with an offer to purchase the property prior to filing any action. Additionally, you will see someone on the condemnor’s behalf survey the property and put down stakes to mark edges and points of the interests taken by the condemnor, such as the edge of a right-of-way or outline of a permanent drainage easement.

I have a bunch of wooden stakes in my property. What should I do?

A condemnor will put these stakes down to mark points for the property taken, often to demonstrate the path of the edge of an area taken or to mark points along a project. DO NOT pull up any of these stakes. These are vital to the project and determining where and how your property lines may be affected.

You will often notice letters and numbers on these stakes with certain colors of paints or flags along the top of them. The letters are often abbreviations for the type of feature that it marks. For example, R/W = “Right of Way” and TCE = “Temporary Construction Easement.” The numbers often refer to a specific station number along the project and how many feet along the project the stake lies past the station. The colors often indicate what type of area the stake represents, similar to the letters.

The condemnor is “only” taking an easement and not a right of way or simple taking. Do I still really need help from an attorney?

Yes. The easements taken by condemnors are commonly so expansive that they take all of the rights to use the property and leave you with nothing more than the title of ownership and the responsibility to pay the taxes. Further, even a temporary easement can have permanent or long-lasting effects on the property, depending on how the easement is used.

Nothing is easy about an easement. We recommend you seek the counsel of an experienced eminent domain lawyer immediately in order to protect your legal rights and secure just compensation.

The condemnor has served me with papers taking my property (or some of it). Is it too late to hire an attorney?

North Carolina Eminent Domain Lawyer - Riddle & BrantleyNo. While we prefer to get involved early so that we can best prepare you and your property for the taking (and in some cases negotiate a resolution without a lawsuit), it is not too late to hire an attorney after receiving papers.

That said, you should act quickly because you have limited amount of time to work with the appropriate experts and respond to the complaint as filed by the condemnor.

For a FREE, no-obligation with an experienced North Carolina eminent domain lawyer, please call 1-800-525-7111. 

Our eminent domain team is led by attorney Chris Beacham, a former assistant attorney general for the State of North Carolina. As assistant attorney general, Chris handled many eminent domain cases and knows what it’s like on both sides of the table.

“If the government is taking your property, don’t wait to contact an attorney. The sooner we can start work on your case, the more likely it is that we can recover additional compensation for you.”

Chris Beacham, eminent domain attorney, Riddle & Brantley

Please call 1-800-525-7111 for a free consultation with our eminent domain attorneys. There is never any upfront cost and you won’t pay any attorney fees unless we get you additional compensation on top of what the government has already offered.

Do NOT accept the government’s first offer. The Constitution guarantees you the right to just compensation and we would love to help you get the justice and compensation you deserve.

Call 1-800-525-7111 today and let’s review your case.

Justice Counts.