Gallimore v. State Highway and Public Works Commission, 740

Citation241 N.C. 350,85 S.E.2d 392
Decision Date14 January 1955
Docket NumberNo. 740,740
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
PartiesL. B. GALLIMORE, W. F. Page, D. R. Saunders, T. C. Vaughn, H. B. Barger, O. L. Ruth, C. A. Brown, R. 1. McCluskey and T. R. York, Trustees of the North Carolina Conference of the Pilgrim Holiness Church of America, v. STATE HIGHWAY AND PUBLIC WORKS COMMISSION (of the State of North Carolina).

York & Boyd, Greensboro, for petitioners, appellants.

R. Brooks Peters, Raleigh, and Blackwell, Blackwell & Canady, Winston-Salem, for State Highway and Public Works Commission, respondent, appellant and appellee.

BOBBITT, Justice.

Does the clerk have jurisdiction to rule on a motion to strike interposed under G.S. § 1-153? Disposition of these appeals does not require an answer to this question. However, we note that this statute provides: 'Any such motion to strike any matter out of any pleading may, upon ten days' notice to the adverse party, be heard out of term by the resident judge of the district or by any judge regularly assigned to hold the courts of the district. ' Too, the prejudicial effect of objectionable allegations in a pleading ordinarily arises from the reading of such allegations to the jury even though evidence in support thereof is not admitted. Privette v. Privette, 230 N.C. 52, 51 S.E.2d 925; Carolina Power & Light Co. v. Bowman, 231 N.C. 332, 56 S.E.2d 602. Hence, the prejudicial effect of objectionable allegations in a petition filed under G.S. § 40-12 ordinarily would not arise unless and until the proceeding comes to the superior court for trial de novo by a jury on the issue of damages.

As stated by Ervin, J., in Hinson v. Britt, 232 N.C. 379, 61 S.E.2d 185, 187: 'This Court does not correct errors of the Superior Court unless such errors prejudicially affect the substantial rights of the party appealing. Hence, the denying or overruling of a motion to strike matter from a pleading under the provisions of G.S. § 1-153 is not ground for reversal unless the record affirmatively reveals these two things: (1) That the matter is irrelevant or redundant; and (2) that its retention in the pleading will cause harm or injustice to the moving party. ' Conversely, if a motion to strike irrelevant or redundant matter from a pleading is erroneously allowed the ruling will not be disturbed unless it is made to appear that the pleader will be prejudiced on account thereof.

And it has been held consistently that, upon appeal from a ruling on a motion to strike, this Court will not undertake to chart the course of the trial in advance of the hearing. Daniel v. Gardner, 240 N.C. 249, 81 S.E.2d 660, and cases cited therein.

The respondent brought no condemnation proceeding. Instead, as authorized by statute, it seized and appropriated a portion of petitioners' property for public use for highway purposes. Unable to agree as to what constituted just compensation, petitioners seek to have the amount of their recovery determined by special proceeding in accordance with G.S. § 136-19. Moore v. Clark, 235 N.C. 364, 70 S.E.2d 182.

The procedure in such special proceeding is that prescribed in G.S. Ch. 40, entitled, 'Eminent Domain.' G.S. § 40-12 specifies the necessary allegations of such petition. In brief, these consist of allegations that petitioners own the property appropriated and pray that commissioners be appointed to ascertain and determine the amount of compensation 'which ought justly to be made '. G.S. § 40-17. The respondent, by answer, may challenge the allegations of petitioners on which they seek to recover compensation. G.S. § 40-16. These statutes do not seem to contemplate that petitioners allege with particularity the various respects in which their property has been adversely affected by the new highway. There is no requirement that petitioners do so.

Upon confirmation of the report of the commissioners, exceptions thereto may be entered; and, upon appeal, the issue as to the amount of damages or compensation is for determination de novo by a jury at term time. G.S. §§ 40-19, 40-20; Proctor v. Highway & Public Works Commission, 230 N.C. 687, 55 S.E.2d 479.

Just compensation, to which the landowner is entitled, is the difference between the fair market value of the property as a whole immediately before and immediately after the appropriation of a portion thereof for highway purposes. Abernathy v. South & W. R. Co., 150 N.C. 97, 63 S.E. 180; Nantahala Power & Light Co. v. Carringer, 220 N.C. 57, 16 S.E.2d 453. Where the appropriation is for highway purposes, the general and special benefits, if any, accruing to the landowner from the location and construction of the new highway, must be taken into consideration. G.S. § 136-19; State Highway & Public Works Commission v. Hartley, 218 N.C. 438, 11 S.E.2d 314; Proctor v. Highway Commission, supra. In short, damages are to be awarded to compensate for the loss sustained by the landowner. Nantahala Power & Light Co. v. Moss, 220 N.C. 200, 17 S.E.2d 10. In Abernathy v. South & W. R. Co., supra [150 N.C. 97, 63 S.E. 185], Connor, J., expresses the gist of the rule: 'The compensation must be full and complete, and include everything which affects the value of the property taken and its relation to the entire property affected.'

In paragraph six of the petition, petitioners have alleged in separately numbered paragraphs fourteen elements or items of damage to their property; to each they assign a specific amount; and in paragraph seven they summarize and tabulate the items, 'hereinabove fully alleged,' the total of the itemized fourteen items being $44,032.37, the amount of compensation the petitioners seek to recover. Except in minor particulars, these allegations were stricken.

It would unduly encumber this opinion to consider in detail each of the challenged fourteen paragraphs of paragraph 6. Careful consideration impels the conclusion that the order of Judge Fountain does not and will not prejudice either petitioners or respondent in the trial de novo before a jury of the issue as to the award to which petitoners are entitled.

'Any evidence which aids the jury in fixing a fair market value of the land and its diminution by the burden put upon it is relevant and should be heard. Any evidence which does not measure up to this standard is calculated to confuse the minds of the jury and should be excluded. This is as far as we can safely go in the present state of the case. ' Abernathy v. South & W. R. Co., supra.

Since the petitioners, without setting forth in their petition the specific elements they contend caused a diminution in fair market value, may offer evidence within the rule quoted in the preceding paragraph, they are in no way prejudiced by the ruling of Judge Fountain. Neither G.S. § 136-19 nor G.S. § 40-12, nor any decision to which our attention...

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  • Department of Transp. v. M.M. Fowler, Inc., 305PA05.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • December 15, 2006
    ...tending to show a diminution in the over-all fair market value of the property." Gallimore v. State Highway & Pub. Works Comm'n, 241 N.C. 350, 355, 85 S.E.2d 392, 396 (1955) (citing Raleigh, Charlotte & S. Ry. Co. v. Mecklenburg Mfg. Co., 169 N.C. 156, 85 S.E. 390 (1915)); see also Pemberto......
  • Barnes v. North Carolina State Highway Commission, 389
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • June 12, 1959
    ...which affects the value of the property taken in relation to the entire property affected. Gallimore v. State Highway and Public Works Commission, 241 N.C. 350, 354, 85 S.E.2d 392. The question is: Was the 6.72 acres tract No. 3, such an affected part of the whole tract as to require its in......
  • Chappell v. N.C. Dep't of Transp.
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 1, 2020
    ...(identifying that this statute prescribes the rule for determining what constitutes just compensation); Gallimore v. Highway Comm'n , 241 N.C. 350, 353, 85 S.E.2d 392, 395 (1955) (holding that just compensation is the fair market value of the property before and after the taking of a portio......
  • Williams v. State Highway Commission of N. C., 314
    • United States
    • North Carolina United States State Supreme Court of North Carolina
    • May 18, 1960
    ...it is in at the time and the use to which it is then applied by the owner." This principle is cited in Gallimore v. State Highway and Public Works Commission, 241 N.C. 350, 85 S.E.2d 392, and Barnes v. North Carolina State Highway Commission, 250 N.C. 378, 109 S.E.2d 219, 229. "The highest ......
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