On February 19, 2018, the Washington Post reported that a federal judge refused to postpone the February 26, 2018, hearing in the ACP’s lawsuit seeking possession of properties in Augusta, Bath, Buckingham and Cumberland counties. Although the hearing was not postponed, the judge “ordered developers to turn over more information and gave property owners more time to respond.”
ALL of the cases from the Western District of Virginia will be heard by Judge Moon on February 26, 2018, at 9:30am, US District Court in Lynchburg, 1101 Court Street, room 370. This hearing includes all the condemnation lawsuits from Augusta, Bath, Buckingham, Cumberland, Highland, and Nelson. (The cases from the Eastern District of Virginia, Suffolk, Chesapeake, Nottoway , and Southampton, will be heard elsewhere.)
If you are able to attend the hearing in Lynchburg, the Fentons (Nelson property owners being sued) and other property owners will appreciate your support. Show up and pack the courtroom. Please – no signs, no “No Pipeline” t-shirts, no cell phones in the courtroom.
There will be an alternative space across the street from the courthouse (at First Unitarian Church of Lynchburg, 313 Ninth St) open for people to gather and unify our fight across counties. Bold Appalachia and the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition will have snacks and refreshments available starting at 9AM and continuing throughout the day for anyone resisting the pipeline.
In Charlottesville, federal court officials have announced that they are making a video feed available at the Charlottesville federal courthouse for public viewing of the Lynchburg hearing on pipeline condemnation cases. Interested members of the public may attend.
Of the 38 Western District of Virginia condemnation lawsuits that have been filed by ACP between January 1 and February 19, 2018, 31 were filed in January and 7 in February (through February 19):
- Augusta: 17
- Bath: 1
- Buckingham: 10
- Cumberland: 3
- Highland: 5
- Nelson: 2
Of these cases, five have since been dismissed, presumably because the parties settled on easement terms. (3 in Augusta, 2 in Highland). At this time it also appears that the case against Wintergreen is NOT on the 2/26 docket.
Additionally, there have been:
- 9 cases filed in the Eastern District of Virginia (one of which has since been dismissed).
- 16 cases filed in the East District of N. Carolina
- 3 cases in West Virginia (one of which has since been dismissed.)
Since January first of this year, ACP has filed a total of 66 condemnation lawsuits in Federal Court.