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Private Property Rights Threatened

by Kenneth E. DuBose on June 11, 2015

Property owners in North Dakota have lost their battle with Sandpiper Oil, a company seeking to use their land against their will.

Last week, a district judge trampled on private landowner rights by ruling in favor of the North Dakota Pipeline Company, saying they had a right to the property through eminent domain.

James and Krista Botsford of Wausau Wis, have been fighting to keep a pipeline from being placed on their property and they were one of the only holdouts of the 799 landowners the company approached for easements in North Dakota. The couple argued that eminent domain should not apply since it would be of no service to the property owner.

The couple’s attorney, Derrick Braaten said that “James and Krista Botsford wanted their day in court to make their argument. This is sort of short-circuiting that.”

In hopes to change that the Botsfords would change their mind, the pipeline company had offered the couple upwards of $50,000, but the judge’s ruling left open any discussion about final compensation.

As the shale boom has escalated, private property owners are increasingly taking a back seat to the interests of producers and government entities.

Related: Fracking in Texas Cities: Who’s the Boss?

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