Probate Judge Set To Rule On Pipeline Lawsuit

Probate Judge Set To Rule On Pipeline Lawsuit

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Both sides exited the courtroom today saying they felt confident about their arguments.  Lawyers for MAWSS argued simply Plains Southcap has no authority to condemn property because it is a limited liability company.  An attorney for MAWSS said if the power is not specifically granted in the Alabama constitution then Plains has no standing.

Jarrod White, the lawyer for Plains Southcap made a different argument.  He says an LLC meets other standards under Alabama law that allow it to have eminent domain power.  He says out-of-state entities and pipeline companies can have eminent domain power.  White says Plains meets those other qualifications.

It’s not clear how Probate Judge Don Davis says his decision in a previous eminent domain case does not end the question of where or not an LLC can take property.  He was referencing the “Whitehead” case where he initially ruled Plains could not condemn because is an LLC but later vacated that ruling because the property owners settled with the pipeline company. 

Plains has expanded one of its safety concessions.  Instead of trenching 40 feet below Hamilton Creek, the area will be dug as deep as 100 feet in some spots. 

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