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Brian Jorde Quoted in Iowa Capital Dispatch on Navigator Pipeline Survey Trial

Aerial drone image of farmland landscape in Iowa USA

Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde was recently quoted by the Iowa Capital Dispatch in an article about the latest developments in the legal battle between local landowners and Navigator CO2 Ventures.

As reported by the Iowa Capital Dispatch, a district court judge has denied Navigator’s request to grant the company access to private property in Woodbury County without holding a trial. The ruling means that a trial beginning this Tuesday, March 7, 2023 will proceed as scheduled.

The proceedings stem from a 2022 lawsuit filed by Navigator to gain access to farmland in Moville owned by William and Vicki Hulse to conduct a land survey. The couple was one of four sets of landowners sued by Navigator who barred surveyors from accessing their land and performing surveys, which are used to determine the path and depth of proposed pipelines.

In October, Domina Law Group and Attorney Brian Jorde filed a countersuit on behalf of the Hulses challenging the constitutionality of an Iowa law that allows companies to survey private land without it being deemed trespass, provided they meet certain procedural requirements, such as holding informational meetings and giving written notice.

According to the suit, the law violates the state’s Constitution, which holds that “private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation first being made,” and which protects landowners’ property rights from unwarranted government intrusion. By allowing private companies to perform surveys without permission, the suit argued, the law enables the government to appropriate landowners’ rights to exclude others from their property.

In court, Jorde also argued that the law lacks a sufficient process to compensate landowners for damage that might result from the surveys, stating that the Hulses “are at the mercy of Navigator to be judge and jury as to if damages occurred,” and that William Hulse, who suffers from dementia and lives at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown, was not sufficiently notified of the surveys as required by law.

While the battles between Navigator and landowners like the Hulses raise important questions about the constitutionality of the Iowa law on surveys, the controversial use of eminent domain by private companies, and property rights, Navigator had sought summary judgment in a motion for an injunction against the Hulses, which would have eliminated the need for trial. Now that District Judge Roger Sailer has denied that request, the issue of the law’s constitutionality will likely become a key issue in the trial.

Brian Jorde and Domina Law Group represent the Hulses and landowners across Iowa and all other Midwest states where controversial carbon pipelines have been proposed. In addition to helping property owners understand their legal rights and options, Jorde and our team are also involved in litigation that challenges the companies’ attempts to use eminent domain – a right typically reserved for the government and public use projects – to gain access to private land. You can learn more at

You can read the full article featuring quotes from Attorney Brian Jorde here.