Brian Jorde Quoted by Iowa Capital Dispatch on Latest Legal Challenge to Land Survey Law

Brian Jorde Quoted by Iowa Capital Dispatch on Latest Legal Challenge to Land Survey Law

Domina Law Group Managing Lawyer Brian Jorde was recently quoted by the Iowa Capital Dispatch in an article discussing the latest legal challenge to Iowa’s land survey law.

As reported by the Iowa Capital Dispatch, the Iowa Supreme Court last month declined to review an appeal filed by a surveyor who had been cited for trespassing on private property to conduct a land survey for Summit Carbon Solutions’ proposed carbon dioxide pipeline.

The surveyor was cited in August 2022 for entering a property in Dickinson County after other surveyors had been told to leave and not return. Following the citation, the surveyor sought a dismissal of the case, which was denied by a district court judge in January. He appealed that denial, asking the state’s high court to review the matter. However, that too proved unsuccessful.

In its order rejecting the appeal, Iowa Supreme Court Justice Christopher McDonald stated that the appeal contained nearly four times the number of documents allowable under the state’s Rules of Appellate Procedure and failed to provide the court with the ability to readily assess the most critical aspects of the record.

According to court records, a trial has been set for late June.

Cases Put Iowa Land Survey Law at Issue

The trespassing case out of Dickinson County is just one of several challenges focusing on issues related to Iowa’s land survey law, which requires pipeline companies seeking entry for land surveys to hold informational meetings and provide 10 days’ written notice via certified mail.

Attorney Steven Goodlow, who is prosecuting the case for Dickinson County, said that landowners and a tenant refused to accept those certified letters and that Summit, rather than conducting the survey anyway, should have sought an injunction.

Attorney Brian Jorde and Domina Law are handling another land survey case in Woodbury County involving pipeline company Navigator CO2 Ventures’ suit against landowners for an injunction. Last fall, Jorde and our firm filed a countersuit arguing that law enabled the government to appropriate landowners’ rights to exclude others from their property, as the state Constitution holds that “private property shall not be taken for public use without just compensation first being made,” and protects landowners’ property rights from unwarranted government intrusion.

These cases, Attorney Brian Jorde notes in an interview with the Iowa Capital Dispatch, could have big consequences for affected landowners. However, he did note that the Clay County case differed from the one in Woodbury, as the Clay County landowner admitted to signing the 10-day notice.

Summit and Navigator have other pending lawsuits against unwilling landowners, including two cases against Summit consolidated into one that’s set for trial this month in Butler County. Summit has pending suits in six Iowa Counties set for trial between May and August.

Read the full Iowa Capital Dispatch article featuring quotes from Brian Jorde here.