§ 136‑106.  Answer, reply and plat.

(a) Any person whose property has been taken by the Department of Transportation by the filing of a complaint and a declaration of taking, may within the time hereinafter set forth file an answer to the complaint only praying for a determination of just compensation. No answer shall be filed to the declaration of taking and notice of deposit. Said answer shall, in addition, contain the following:

(1) Such admissions or denials of the allegations of the complaint  as are appropriate.

(2) The names and addresses of the persons filing said answer, together with a statement as to their interest in the property taken.

(3) Such affirmative defenses or matters as are pertinent to the  action.

(b) A copy of the answer shall be served on the Department of Transportation, or such other process agents as may be designated by the Department of Transportation, in Raleigh, provided that failure to serve the answer shall not deprive the answer of its validity. The affirmative allegations of said answer shall be deemed denied. The Department of Transportation may, however, file a reply within 30 days from receipt of a copy of the answer.

(c) The Department of Transportation, within 90 days from the receipt of the answer shall file in the cause a plat of the land taken and such additional area as may be necessary to properly determine the damages, and a copy thereof shall be mailed to the parties or their attorney; provided, however, the Department of Transportation shall not be required to file a map or plat in less than six months from the date of the filing of the complaint. (1959, c. 1025, s. 2; 1961, c. 1084, s. 4; 1963, c. 1156, ss. 3, 4; 1965, c. 55, s. 15; 1973, c. 507, s. 5; 1977, c. 464, ss. 7.1, 28.)