TransCanada Stopped In Nebraska!
Eminent Domain Halted!
Domina Law Group Clients Win Second Injunction
For the second time in two weeks, a Nebraska District Judge halted TransCanada
land takings in Nebraska in their tracks. A copy of the second Injunction
may be read
On February 12th, Holt County District Judge Mark Kozisek enjoined the pipeline company
from proceeding with condemnation cases in for Nebraska counties. Photo
On February 26, York County District Judge Mary Gilbride issued a similar
injunction, stopping eminent domain cases in 7 counties to the South.
TransCanada is now blocked in Nebraska. It will be unable to take property
from landowners under the power or threat of eminent domain until state
constitutional law issues about a statute passed by the Legislature as
a result of TransCanada lobbying efforts, is finally decided by the Nebraska
The Nebraska litigation will go on regardless of what happens at the federal
level. "The legal issues here are uniquely Nebraska state law issues,"
Dave Domina said. Domina and Brian Jorde of Domina Law Group pc llo, represent
approximately 85% of the landowners who have refused to make deals with
the pipeline company to let them build the controversy over Keystone XL
pipeline across their land.
In January, 2015, four Justices of the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled in
favor of Domina's legal arguments about unconstitutionality. A Nebraska
law quirk requires five Justices must find a law unconstitutional to strike
it down. Three Justices of the seven member State Supreme Court thought
they should withhold expression of their opinions on the issue until condemnation
commenced and a landowner sued for condemnation of property presented
the case. This is why the January case did not resolve matters. Since
there were not five votes to settle the issue, the litigation continues,
now, and will almost certainly return to the Supreme Court after rulings
in the Holt or York County District Courts.
Domina and Jorde suspect the Holt and York County lawsuits will take about
18 months to be resolved. A 2012 State law gave the Governor authority
to approve a pipeline route and authorize TransCanada to begin taking
property. The landowner's lawyers at Domina Law Group contend the
law improperly sidestepped the Nebraska Public Service Comm'n, a State
Constitutional organization that is responsible under the Nebraska Constitution
for decisions about common carriers, including pipelines. Other State
Constitutional Issues are also present in the litigation.
If the landowners lose their case, TransCanada will become the first common
carrier in Nebraska since 1905 to be allowed to bypass the Public Service
Commission, and begin business in the State as the result of a political favor.
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