Friday, September 01, 2006

Eminent Domain Victory in Jasper, TN

Story Link: AP - JASPER, Tenn. — A jury sided with two Whitwell men who sued a gas company that used eminent domain to take three-tenths of an acre and paid them $8,000.

It took seven years and a trial for land holding partners John Shelley and James Cooper to get what they consider fair compensation from Marion Natural Gas System.

Eminent domain allows government entities and utilities to seize private property, regardless of whether owners agree that they are fairly compensated.

"We wanted to settle," Shelley said after the $160,000 damage verdict. "We didn't want to go to court."

The Marion County jury awarded the incidental damages for the utility taking the small section of a 27-acre parcel to build a regulation station."