Partner Jeffrey Simmons was quoted in the E&E News article, “Supreme Court Deals Blow to ‘Quick Take’ Challenge,” about the impact on private landowners of a U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Givens v. Mountain Valley Pipeline to reject a challenge to a pipeline eminent domain procedure. The so-called quick take procedure allows pipeline companies to begin building on private land before paying for access.
Simmons, who has represented pipeline condemnors in eminent domain cases, said the decision means that landowners are now subject to having property taken via the quick take process. He noted that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission could make changes to slow down the process, but said it would be hard for FERC to slow down a project, especially when there is no question of whether or not the company was allowed to take the land in the first place. Landowners could potentially do more to object to FERC approvals through public comment, but he said many people aren't really aware of the commission and its role in the process. Construction is often underway by the time property owners make it to court.