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Real Property – Condemnation – Map Act – Interest Rate – Statutory Amendment – Constitutional

Real Property – Condemnation – Map Act – Interest Rate – Statutory Amendment – Constitutional

In a condemnation case, interest is a component of just compensation. There is no conceivable reason why, on July 11, 2016, the General Assembly lowered the interest calculation only for condemnation actions filed after July 11, 2016, other than to solely benefit the North Carolina Department of Transportation. This change is arbitrary and capricious and causes disparate treatment among similarly situated landowners without demonstrating a rational relationship to a legitimate government goal.

House Bill 959’s change in the presumptive interest rate in G.S. § 136-113 and the imposition of a cap on the rates at eight percent is unconstitutional as applied to the Map Act cases filed to date and to those filed hereafter. All plaintiffs in the Map Act cases whose property was taken in October 1997 or November 2008 are entitled to no less than eight percent interest on the amount of just compensation ultimately proven at trial from the respective date of taking.

Abdellmelk v. North Carolina Department of Transportation (Lawyers Weekly No. 021-001-18, 11 pp.) (John Craig III, J.) Forsyth County Superior Court.


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