A recent North Carolina Court of Appeals decision reinforces the importance of choosing an attorney familiar with proper procedure in eminent domain cases. In City of Wilson v. the Batten Family, et al., a condemnation case out of Wilson County, Defendants moved for a 108 hearing in early 2010. (A 108 hearing is held pursuant to NCGS 136-108 in order to determine issues other than compensation.) The 108 hearing was held in July of 2010. In November of 2011 Defendants filed another motion for an additional 108 hearing; this motion was denied by the trial court. The Defendants appealed this decision and the Court of Appeals affirmed the lower court’s decision. The Court of Appeals pointed out that Defendants should have appealed the order from the first 108 hearing rather than waiting more than a year to request a second hearing.
The take-away message for anyone considering hiring an attorney to represent them when their land is being taken is that you should make sure your attorney is experienced in practicing in the field of condemnation / eminent domain.