§ 40A-28.  Exceptions to report; hearing; when title vests; appeal; restitution.

(a)        Upon the filing of the report, the clerk shall forthwith mail copies to the parties. Within 20 days after the filing of the report any party to the proceedings may file exceptions thereto. The clerk, after notice to the parties, shall hear any exceptions so filed and may thereafter direct a new appraisal, modify or confirm the report, or make such other orders as the clerk may deem right and proper.

(b)        If no exceptions are filed to the report, and if the clerk's final judgment rendered upon the petition and proceedings shall be in  favor of the condemnor, and upon the deposit by the condemnor of the sum adjudged, together with all costs allowed, into the office of the clerk of superior court, then, in that event, all owners who have been made parties to the proceedings shall be divested of the property or interest therein to the extent set forth in the proceedings. A copy of the judgment, certified under the seal of the court, shall be registered in the county or counties where the land is situated, and the original judgment, or a certified copy thereof, or a certified copy of the registered judgment, may be given in evidence in all actions and proceedings as deeds for property are now allowed in evidence.

(c)        Any party to the proceedings may file exceptions to the clerk's final determination on any exceptions to the report and may appeal to the judge of superior court having jurisdiction. Notice of appeal shall be filed within 10 days of the clerk's final determination. Upon appeal the clerk shall transfer the proceedings to the civil issue docket of the superior court. A judge in session shall hear and determine all matters in controversy and, subject to G.S. 40A-29 regarding trial by jury, shall determine any issues of compensation to be awarded in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of this Chapter.

(d)       Notwithstanding the filing of exceptions by any party to any orders or final determination of the clerk or the filing of a notice of appeal to the superior court, the condemnor may, at the time of the filing of the report of commissioners, deposit with the clerk of superior court in the proceedings the sum appraised by the commissioners and, in that event, the condemnor may enter, take possession of, and hold said property in the manner and to the extent sought to be acquired by the proceedings until final judgment is rendered on any appeal.

(e)        If, on appeal, the judge shall refuse to condemn the property,  then the money deposited with the clerk of court in the proceedings, or so much thereof as shall be adjudged, shall be refunded to the condemnor and the condemnor shall have no right to the property and shall surrender possession of the same, on demand, to the owner. The judge shall have full power and authority to make such orders, judgments and decrees as may be necessary to carry into effect the final judgment rendered in such proceedings, including compensation in accordance with the provisions of G.S. 40A-8.

(f)        If the amount adjudged to be paid the owner of any property condemned under this Article shall not be paid within 60 days after final judgment in the proceedings, the right under the judgment to take the property shall ipso facto cease and determine, but the claimant under the judgment shall still remain liable for all amounts  adjudged against said claimant except the compensation awarded for the taking of the property.

(g)        The provisions of this section shall not preclude any injunctive relief otherwise available to the owner or the condemnor. (Code, s. 1946; 1893, c. 148; Rev., s. 2587; 1915, c. 207; C.S., s. 1723; 1951, c. 59, s. 2; 1955, c. 29, s. 1; 1969, c. 44, s. 47; 1971, c. 528, s. 37; 1981, c. 919, s. 1.)