TransCanada Stopped In Nebraska!

TransCanada Stopped In Nebraska!

TransCanada Stopped In Nebraska!
Eminent Domain Halted!
Domina Law Group Clients Win Second Injunction

2nd transcanada 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 HERE.

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 Supreme Court.

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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