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GOVERNMENT in a case of first impression in North Carolina, a trial court erred in granting summary judgment to a city that demolished an abandoned home without notice because, unless a building posed an imminent threat of danger, proper notice was required before demolition, the North Carolina Court of Appeals held on June 3. Monroe v. City of New Bern, No. COA02-498. The city of New Bern demolished a house owned by Beulah Monroe without notice. Evidence indicated the home was abandoned, boarded and in extremely poor repair. Monroe sued the city, alleging it was liable for damages because it demolished her house without proper notice. A trial court granted summary judgment to the city, and Monroe appealed. In reversing, the court held that only in cases of imminent public danger can a municipality demolish a house without notice. The court remanded the case to the trial court for a determination of damages. The court said, “We conclude the record does not establish that the condition of plaintiff’s house posed an imminent danger to the health or safety of the public and therefore, the City did not have authority under Section 160A-193 to summarily demolish the house.”

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