Petition Challenging “Quick Take” to Go to U.S. Supreme Court

On July 3, 2019, attorneys for Katheryn Givens and other landowners on the Mountain Valley Pipeline route are expected to file their U.S. Supreme Court petition challenging a 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that a lower court properly allowed developers to obtain immediate possession of property in the project’s path using “quick take.”

Although standard eminent domain proceedings require just compensation in exchange for acquiring land, immediate possession or “quick take” power allows developers to take private property months or years before actually paying. “Quick take” means landowners no longer have the ability to negotiate a fair price, nor do they have any way to recoup lost wages if a seizure interferes with their ability to earn money from their land before the court determines appropriate compensation.

Congress did not convey quick-take authority to pipeline developers in the Natural Gas Act, but several courts have nevertheless interpreted the Natural Gas Act in a way that allows developers to take land for projects long before the property owners receive a penny of compensation.

Click here to read the July 2, 2019, E&E News article on the expected filing with the Supreme Court; the article reviews the issues with “quick take” and the history of other challenges to it.

Click here to read the July 3, 2019, Roanoke Times coverage, Landowners ask U.S. Supreme Court to bar taking their property for pipeline.