A public condemnor listed in G.S. 40A-3(b) or (c) shall institute a civil action to condemn property by filing in the superior court of any county in which the land is located a complaint containing a declaration of taking declaring that property therein is thereby taken for the use of the condemnor.
The complaint shall contain or have attached thereto the following:
(1) A statement of the authority under which and the public use for which the property is taken;
(2) A description of the entire tract or tracts of land affected by the taking sufficient for the identification thereof;
(3) A statement of the property taken and a description of the area taken sufficient for the identification thereof;
(4) The names and addresses of those persons who the condemnor is informed and believes may be or, claim to be, owners of the property so far as the same can by reasonable diligence be ascertained, and if any such persons are infants, incompetents, inebriates or under any other disability, or their whereabouts or names unknown, it must be so stated;
(5) A statement of the sum of money estimated by the condemnor to be just compensation for the taking; and
(6) A statement as to whether the owner will be permitted to remove all or a specified portion of any timber, buildings, structures, permanent improvements, or fixtures situated on or affixed to the property.
(7) A statement as to such liens or other encumbrances as the condemnor is informed and believes are encumbrances upon the property and can by reasonable diligence be ascertained.
(8) A prayer that there be a determination of just compensation in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
The filing of the complaint shall be accompanied by the deposit to the use of the owner of the sum of money estimated by the condemnor to be just compensation for the taking. Upon the filing of the complaint and the deposit of said sum, summons shall be issued to each owner of the property. The summons, together with a copy of the complaint and notice of the deposit shall be served upon the person named therein in the manner provided for the service of process under the provisions of G.S. 1A-1, Rule 4. The condemnor may amend the complaint and may increase the amount of its deposit with the court at any time while the proceeding is pending, and the owner shall have the same rights of withdrawal of this additional amount as set forth in G.S. 40A-44 of this Chapter. (1935, c. 470, ss. 4, 5; 1947, c. 781; 1971, c. 382, s. 1; 1981, c. 919, s. 1.)