Court: Canadian Oil Company Can Use Eminent Domain in Texas

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by Cory K. Kestner / New Jersey Condemnation Law

Following a recent Texas Supreme Court decision that limited the ability of pipeline owners to condemn property under certain circumstances, a group of property owners in Texas lost their fight to keep a Canadian oil company, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, from taking their property as part of a 4,000 mile pipeline project.  The landowners are fighting to keep TransCanada from immediately entering their properties and starting construction before lawyers and lawmakers have explored what the ruling means.

TransCanada argued that it has the right under an 1899 Texas statute to start construction without obtaining writs of possession through condemnation proceedings, but the company filed the appropriate paperwork and posted the required bonds instead to prevent a landowner from blocking access to the property.  However, the judge scheduled a hearing to consider whether TransCanada properly posted bonds for damage to properties if it ultimately loses the right to the land in later legal proceedings. Additionally, the judge will determine if Keystone must send out new legal notices to property owners not included in previous value-setting.

This firm first discussed this project over a year ago on Fox News Channel, whereMcKirdy & Riskin’s Anthony Della Pelle provided commentary – watch the video here.  Since that time, the project has received considerable attention in the media and has involved debate in political, legal and environmental forums.

For more on this story, please see the following blog posts and news articles:

Originally published by New Jersey Condemnation Law; republished with permission


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