Any person whose land or compensable interest therein has been taken by an intentional or unintentional act or omission of the Department of Transportation and no complaint and declaration of taking has been filed by said Department of Transportation may, within 24 months of the date of the taking of the affected property or interest therein or the completion of the project involving the taking, whichever shall occur later, file a complaint in the superior court setting forth the names and places of residence of the parties, so far as the same can by reasonable diligence be ascertained, who own or have, or claim to own or have estates or interests in the said real estate and if any such persons are under a legal disability, it must be so stated, together with a statement as to any encumbrances on said real estate; said complaint shall further allege with particularity the facts which constitute said taking together with the dates that they allegedly occurred; said complaint shall describe the property allegedly owned by said parties and shall describe the area and interests allegedly taken. Upon the filing of said complaint summons shall issue and together with a copy of said complaint be served on the Department of Transportation as provided by G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4(j)(4). The allegations of said complaint shall be deemed denied; however, the Department of Transportation within 60 days of service of summons and complaint may file answer thereto, and if said taking is admitted by the Department of Transportation, it shall, at the time of filing answer, deposit with the court the estimated amount of compensation for said taking and notice of said deposit shall be given to said owner. Said owner may apply for disbursement of said deposit and disbursement shall be made in accordance with the applicable provisions of G.S. 136-105 of this Chapter. If a taking is admitted, the Department of Transportation shall, within 90 days of the filing of the answer to the complaint, file a map or plat of the land taken. The procedure hereinbefore set out shall be followed for the purpose of determining all matters raised by the pleadings and the determination of just compensation.
The plaintiff at the time of filing of the complaint shall record a memorandum of action with the register of deeds in all counties in which the land involved therein is located, said memorandum to be recorded among the land records of said county. The memorandum of action shall contain
(1) The names of those persons who the plaintiff is informed and believes may have or claim to have an interest in said lands and who are parties to said action;
(2) A description of the entire tract or tracts affected by the alleged taking sufficient for the identification thereof;
(3) A statement of the estate or interest in said land allegedly taken for public use; and
(4) The date on which plaintiff alleges the taking occurred, the date on which said action was instituted, the county in which it was instituted, and such other reference thereto as may be necessary for the identification of said action. (1959, c. 1025, s. 2; 1961, c. 1084, s. 6; 1963, c. 1156, s. 8; 1965, c. 514, ss. 1, 1 1/2; 1971, c. 1195; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; 1977, c. 464, ss. 7.1, 29; 1985, c. 182.)