Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC v. Western Pocahontas Properties Limited Partnership

United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

March 13, 2019

MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE, LLC, Plaintiff - Appellee,
v.
WESTERN POCAHONTAS PROPERTIES LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, Parcel ID No. 6-5F-1 (Terminated: 1/11/2018), 1-31-10, 1-30-8, 5-26-2, Defendant-Appellant, and D. LANE MCMILLION, Parcel ID No. 1-13-49, 1-13-68; DALE L. MCMILLION, Parcel ID No. 1-13-49, 1-13-68; ALICIA D. MCMILLION, Parcel ID No. 1-13-49, 1-13-68; PACO LANE, INC., Parcel ID No. 1-18-69; BRIAN ARMSTRONG, Parcel ID Nos. 1-18-86, 1-18-84; BETH ARMSTRONG, Parcel ID Nos. 1-18-86, 1-18-84; JERRY ALLEN HAMMONS, Parcel ID No. 1-24-35; MARYE . HAMMO S, Parcel ID No. 1-24-35; BRUCE A. ROBERTS, Parcel ID No. 5-34-2; KIMBERLY ROBERTS, Parcel ID No. 5-34-2; TODD E. WHITE, Parcel ID No. 5-34-4; TAMARA L. WHITE DELONG, Parcel ID No. 5-34-4; VIRGINIA D. MCCLUNG, Parcel ID No. 1-24-7; CONNIE MCCLUNG, Parcel ID No. 1-24-7; ARTIE ORLENA ROBINSON, Parcel ID No. 5-14-22; DAVID LANE ROBINSON, Parcel ID No. 5-14-22; QUINWOOD COAL COMPANY, f/k/a Alex Energy, LLC, f/k/a Alex Energy, Incorporated, f/k/a Green Valley Coal Company, LLC, Parcel ID No. 5-15-28, 5-20-48, 11-30-19; C. L. KEENER, Estate of (Parcel ID No. 11-22-75); JAMES KEENER, Parcel ID No. 11-22-75; JOHNNIE RAY KEENER, Parcel ID No. 11-22-75; BRANDE NICOLE KEENER, Parcel ID No. 11-22-75; DAVID HARMON, Parcel ID No. 11-22-75; THOMAS KENNER, Parcel ID No. 11-22-75; CLYDE FOX, Parcel ID No. 11-30-5; MICHAEL FOX, Parcel ID No. 11-30-5; NAOMI J. FOX, Parcel ID No. 11-30-5; ROBERT W. FOX, Parcel ID No. 11-30-5; REX COAL LAND COMPAN Y, Parcel ID No. 11-3 9 -7; E UGENE RAY TUCKWILLER, Parcel ID No. 11-54-13; TINA ROBIN TUCKWILLER, Parcel ID No. 11-54-13; SILAS STEVEN TUCKER, Parcel ID No. 11-54-12; LAUREL TUCKER, Parcel ID No. 11-54-12; JEFFREY DEWAYNE OSBORNE, Parcel ID No. 11-68-33; MARTHA I. KESSLER, Unknown heirs of (Parcel ID No. 3-13-24); MARY L. SURBAUGH, Unknown heirs of (Parcel ID No. 3-13-24); NORA E. VANDALL, Unknown heirs of (Parcel ID No. 3-13-24); AZEL FORD ZICKAFOOSE, Unknown heirs of (Parcel ID No. 3-13-24); JOSEPH ORVILLE ZICKAFOOSE, Unknown heirs of (Parcel ID No. 3-13-24); ROBERT C. ZICKAFOOSE, Unknown heirs of (Parcel ID No. 3-13-24); DOREEN S. ALLEN, Parcel ID No. 11-68-10; FREDERECK M. OSBORNE, Parcel ID No. 11-68-10; JO LYNN BLANKENSHIP, Parcel ID No. 11-68-10; MICKEY D. OSBORNE, Parcel ID No. 11-68-10; SCOTT S. OSBORNE, Parcel ID No. 11-68-10; DONNA M. HUFFMAN, Parcel ID No. 09-13-10.1; NORVEL MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.3; JEAN MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.3; THOMAS B. MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.3; HANNAH G. MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.3; CHLODA CROSIER, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.3; WILLIAM H. MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.3; LUCY G. BOOTH, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.5; HARRY L. MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.5; NANCY L . PHILLIPS, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.5; DONALD E. MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.5; CARL E. MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.5; LARRY W. MANN, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.5; BONNIE K. BARBERIE, Parcel ID No. 05-25-31.5; REBECCA K. BRAGG, Parcel ID No. 05-5-27; LANDCEY RAGLAND, Parcel ID No. 05-14-1, 05-14-19.2, 05-14-24; JOHN WHITE, II, Parcel ID No. 05-14-21, 05-18-3.1, 05-19-11.2; PETRIE DOBBS BROWN, Parcel ID No. 05-18-3; ADDISON DUNLAP DOBBS, Parcel ID No. 05-18-3; LEE FILMORE DOBBS, I I I, Parcel ID No. 05-18-3; OSCAR D. DARAGO, Parcel ID No. 05-18-11; DAVID R. HUGHES, Parcel ID No. 03-12-9; JAMES ROBERT PERSINGER, Parcel ID No. 03-12-19; LILLIAN SUE PERSINGER, Parcel ID No. 03-12-19; STEPHEN C. BROYLES, Parcel ID No. 05-31-25.3; LORRIE P. BROYLES, Parcel ID No. 05-31-25.3; PAULETTE A. SEARS, Trustee of the Paulette A. Sears Family Trust (Parcel ID No. 03-18-32, 03-18-4); MELANIE J. MILLER, Parcel ID No. 03-18-8, 03-18-9, 03-18-10; ANNE C. CHAMBERS, Executrix of the Estate of Thomas P. Long (Parcel ID No. 03-18-23.3); THOMAS P. LONG, The Estate of (Parcel ID No. 03-18-23.3); CAROL M. VASS, Parcel ID No. 03-18-23.4; KENNETH L. VASS, Parcel ID No. 03-18-23.4; LACY H. TONEY, Trustee of the Lacy H. Toney Farm Trust (Parcel ID No. 03-30-18); MOUNTAIN LAIR, LLC, Parcel ID No. 03-30-38; DANNY SPENCE, JR., Administrator of the Estate of Dannie Lee Spence (Parcel ID No. 03-12-7); DANNIE LEE SPENCE, The Estate of (Parcel ID No. 03-12-7); LAURA BOWEN-COFFELT, Trustee of the Susan H. Leeper (a/k/a Ella Susan Houcins) Revocable Living Trust (Parcel ID No. 09-17-10); SUSAN H. LEEPER, a/k/a Ella Susan Houcins, Revocable Living Trust (Parcel ID No. 09-17-10); MONTE G. MCKENZIE, Parcel ID No. 09-17-21; ELORA C. MCKENZIE, Parcel ID No. 09-17-21; EARL C. WILLIAMS, Parcel ID No. 05-25-1.13; ROGER D. CRABTREE, Parcel ID No. 03-30-18.8; REBECCA H. CRABTREE, Parcel ID No. 03-30-18.8; B O N N I E L A R E W W A L S H, Parcel ID No. 05-14-25; GLADYS LAREW CARTER, Parcel ID No. 05-14-25; JAMES TULLY LAREW, Parcel ID No. 05-14-25; JANET LAREW HAAG, Parcel ID No. 05-14-25; ALLAN WALTER LEHR, Parcel ID No. 03-12-22; J. H. HARRAH, Heirs of (Parcel ID No. 3-12-23); IRA HICKMAN HARRAH, Parcel ID No. 3-18-15; RICHARD BERKLEY, Parcel ID No. 7-4-20; ANNE M. BERKLEY, Parcel ID No. 7-4-20; CONNIE HARPER, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; MELISSA A. LESLIE, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; A N T H O N Y D . R I C H M O N D, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; DENNIS WAYNE RICHMOND, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; RHONDA RICHMOND, Administrator of the Estate of Roger L. Richmond (Parcel ID No. 7-4-19); ROGER L. RICHMOND, The Estate of (Parcel ID No. 7-4-19); SANDRA RICHMOND, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; ERVIN E. RICHMOND, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; GERALD K. RICHMOND, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; JESSE JAMES RICHMOND, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; CAROLYN S. WALLS, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; RICHARD DEAN WARD, Parcel ID No. 7-4-19; ASHBY A. BOONE, Parcel ID No. 7-7-27.3; EMMA JEAN BOONE, Parcel ID No. 7-7-27.3; DOROTHY MARIE BOONE FOGLE, Parcel ID No. 7-7-27.3; MARK GREY SMITH, Parcel ID No. 7-15A-5; CAITLYN A. GRAGG, Parcel ID No. 7-15-125; GENE WISEMAN, Trustee of the Wiseman Living Trust (Parcel ID No. 7-15-25); PHYLLIS M. WISEMAN, Trustee of the Wiseman Living Trust (Parcel ID No. 7-15-25); ROBERT JACKSON HOLT, Parcel ID No. 3-23-16, 3-23-12, 3-23-15; PHILIP J. HARRAH, Parcel ID No. 3-23-12.3, 3-23-12.4; REINHARD BOUMAN, Parcel ID No. 3-18-17, 3-23-12.2, 3-23-24, 3-18-16, 3-23-12.5; ASHOFTEH ASSAD-BOUMAN, Parcel ID No. 3-18-17, 3-23-12.2, 3-23-24, 3-18-16, 3-23-12.5; MEADOW CREEK COAL CORPORATION, Parcel ID No. 7-4-20.1; KIRANASA SWAMI, Parcel ID No. 3-18-17.1; DANNY R. BERRY, Parcel ID No. 7-15-80.7-80.13; GREGORY L. BERRY, Parcel ID No. 7-15-80.7-80.13; LC MILLER, JR., Parcel ID No. 7-13D-11; JAMES R. MILLER, Parcel ID No. 7-13D-11; CHARLES D. SIMMONS, Parcel ID No. 7-13D-11, 7-13-D-15; SHARON SIMMONS, Administratrix of the Estate of Charles D. Simmons (Parcel ID No. 7-13D-11, 7-13D-15); JOSHUA SIMMONS, Parcel ID No. 7-13D-11, 7-13D-15; JERRY L. CANNADY, Parcel ID No. 7-13D-11, 7-13D-15; BRYAN SIMMONS, Parcel ID No. 7-13D-11; RED HAWK TRUST, Parcel ID No. 7-13E-10; WILLIAM G. LLOYD, Parcel ID No. 7-12F-11; JAMES MCALLISTER, Parcel ID No. 7-13F-2; HILRY GORDON, Parcel ID No. 14-123-41; CHAD W. JOHNSON, Parcel ID No. 14-163-86; MARTHA JEAN KOTSCHENREUTHER, Parcel ID No. 14-163-86; KAREN JEAN KOTSCHENREUTHER, Parcel ID No. 14-163-86; ELSA LYN KOTSCHENREUTHER, Parcel ID No. 14-163-86; BARBARA JUNE REGER, Estate of (Parcel ID No. 14-163-86); BARRY G. PALLAY, Parcel ID No. 18-242-23.1; GLENN D. MATHENY, II, Parcel ID No. 18-282-108; CHARLES CHONG, Parcel ID No. 18-322-14; REBECCA A. ENEIX-CHONG, Parcel ID No. 18-322-14; COURTNEY CECIL, Parcel ID No. 18-321-40; STACEY POSTUS, Parcel ID No. 18-321-40; CLIFFORD S. CLEAVENGER, Parcel ID No. 18-321-40; LAURA CLEAVENGER, Parcel ID No. 18-321-40; TERESA D. ERICKSON, POA for Gerald Wayne Corder (Parcel ID No. 20-362-20); GERALD WAYNE ORDER, Parcel ID No. 20-362-20; LORENA B. KRAFFT, POA for Randall N. Corder (Parcel ID No. 20-362-21); KINCHELOE MITIGATION HOLDINGS LLC, Parcel ID No. 20-421-8, 20-421-5, 20-421-4, & 20-421-6, 03-4A-27 & 03-4A-29; DANNY MARTIN, Parcel ID No. 18-321-40.5, 18-321-41; TINA MARTIN, Parcel ID No. 18-321-40.5, 18-321-41; GARY CASTO, Parcel ID No. 02-4J-39.1; SHARON CASTO, Parcel ID No. 02-4J-39.1; AVERAL TODD CASTO, Parcel ID No. 02-4J-39.1; ARTHUR C. ROBERTS, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-19, 02-4L-12; J U D Y D . R O B E R T S, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-19, 02-4L-12; FRED L. GOLDEN, Parcel ID No. 01-4M-10, 01-4M-10.1; SHERMAN GAMBLE, Parcel ID No. 01-5P-5; MARY GAMBLE, Parcel ID No. 01-5P-5; DAVID FINSTER, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-16; DONALD J. FINSTER, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-16; PAUL W. FINSTER, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-16; DANA M. FINSTER, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-25; LEONARD G. FINSTER, JR., Parcel ID No. 02-4L-25; VENICE EILEEN FINSTER, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-25; DIANA WIMER, Parcel ID No. 02-4L-25; BRIAN VAN NOSTRAND, Parcel ID No. 6-6D-10; HELEN MONTAGUE VAN NOSTRAND, Parcel ID No. 6-6D-10; GEORGE ERNEST BRIGHT, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; JOHN A. BRIGHT, Trustee of the John A. Bright Revocable Living Trust (Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1); WILLIAM TOWNSEND BRIGHT, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; WILLIAM H. BROWN, JR., Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; WILLIAM MORRISON, Trustee under the will of (Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1); ROBERT J. MORRISON, Trustee under the will of (Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1); A. L. MORRISON, for the benefit of (Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; C. F. MORRISON, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; HELENA M. BERRY, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; HERMAN R MORRISON, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; MARTHA M. COOPER, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; RUTH M. WARD, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; MABEL M. LEWIS, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; MARY E. SEBRING, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; MEGANN M. SHEPPARD, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; JESSE FRANK WILLIAMS, IV, of the WMS WVMinerals Trust (Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1); WMS WVMINERALS TRUST, Parcel ID No. 6-6E-1; ICG EASTERN, LLC, Parcel ID No. 4-4P-01, 4-4Q-13.1, 4-4Q-15, 4-4Q-16; DALE EASTHAM, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; TRAVIS EASTHAM, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; ANDREW FAIRBANKS, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; BRENT FAIRBANKS, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; DAVID FAIRBANKS, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; MICHAEL FAIRBANKS, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; EDWARD CHARLES SMITH, S R ., Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; EDWARD CHARLES SMITH, II, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; TODD EDWARD SMITH, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; JEREMY COLLINS, Parcel ID No. 4-14-39.3; NANCY JANE SHEWMAKE BATES, Parcel ID No. 04-35-11; JOHN H. MELVIN, Parcel ID No. 04-29A-1.14; PAMELA J. MELVIN, Parcel ID No. 04-29A-1.14; UNKNOWN PERSONS AND INTERESTED PARTIES; AN EASEMENT TO CONSTRUCT, OPERATE AND MAINTAIN A 42-INCH GAS TRANSMISSION LINE ACROSS PROPERTIES IN THE COUNTIES OF NICHOLAS, GREENBRIER, MONROE, AND SUMMERS, WEST VIRGINIA, et al; CHERYL L. BOONE, Parcel ID No. 7-7-27.2; KERRY N. BOONE, Parcel ID No. 7-7-27.2; MARJORIE BOOTHE, Parcel ID No. 03-18-3; RODGER L. BOOTHE, Parcel ID No. 03-18-3; CHERYL BOWERS, Parcel ID No. 03-18-11; C Y N T H I A A . B R O Y L E S M O R R I S, Trustee of the William S. Broyles Revocable Trust and the Virginia B. Broyles Revocable Trust, Parcel ID No. 03-24-39; WILLIAM S. BROYLES, Revocable Trust (Parcel ID No. 03-24-39); TAMMY A. CAPALDO, Parcel ID No. 7-15-125; CARLA D. FOUNTAIN, Parcel ID No. 05-19-36, 05-19-24; DENNIS F. FOUNTAIN, Parcel ID No. 05-19-36, 05-19-24; JAMES GORE, Parcel ID No. 03-12-7, 03-12-8; ROBERT M. JARRELL, Parcel ID No. 7-11-15; DAVID ALLEN JOHNSON, Parcel ID No. 05-19-9; EVERETT JOHNSON, JR., Parcel ID No. 05-19-9; WAYNE JOHNSON, Parcel ID No. 05-19-9; MAURY JOHNSON, Parcel ID No. 05-19-9; ZANE LAWHORN, Parcel ID No. 03-12-18; BARRY G. MEADOWS, Parcel ID No. 03-12-18; LISA B. MEADOWS, Parcel ID No. 03-12-18; JOYCE A. REESE, Parcel ID No. 03-30-20; ROY P. REESE, Parcel ID No. 03-30-20; KELLEY ANNESANDELL SILLS, Parcel ID No. 05-25-1, 05-25-1.6; CLARENCE FRANK SILLS, JR., Parcel ID No. 05-25-1, 05-25-1.6; ELISABETH TOBEY, Parcel ID No. 11-84-10; RONALD TOBEY, Parcel ID No. 11-84-10; AUSTIN B. TONEY, Parcel ID No. 03-12-6; ROSETTA B. TONEY, Parcel ID No. 03-12-6; THOMAS E. TONEY, Parcel ID No. 03-12-6; PATRICIA J. WILLIAMS, Parcel ID No. 05-25-1.13; ORUS ASHBY BERKLEY, Parcel ID No. 7-15A-13, 7-15A-13.1; VIRGINIA B. BROYLES, Revocable Trust (Parcel ID No. 03-24-39), Defendants.

          Argued: September 28, 2018

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia at Charleston. John T. Copenhaver, Jr., Senior District Judge. (2:17-cv-04214)

         ARGUED:

          George A. Patterson, III, BOWLES RICE, LLP, Charleston, West Virginia, for Appellant.

          Nicolle Renee Snyder Bagnell, REED SMITH LLP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Appellee.

         ON BRIEF:

          Fazal A. Shere, BOWLES RICE, LLP, Charleston, West Virginia, for Appellant.

          Colin E. Wrabley, REED SMITH LLP, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, for Appellee.

          Before GREGORY, Chief Judge, WYNN and THACKER, Circuit Judges.

          GREGORY, CHIEF JUDGE

         This appeal arises from a condemnation proceeding commenced by Appellee Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC ("MVP"). MVP is a natural gas company that was authorized by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ("FERC") to exercise the right of eminent domain in order to construct a pipeline. The United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia granted MVP partial summary judgment on its right to condemn certain temporary and permanent easements on the properties of several landowners, including Appellant Western Pocahontas Properties, Limited Partnership ("WPPLP"). The district court also granted MVP's motion for a preliminary injunction allowing MVP immediate access to the easements described in MVP's complaint. WPPLP appeals the district court's decision granting MVP's motions for summary judgment and a preliminary injunction. WPPLP also challenges the district court's exclusion of evidence proffered during the preliminary injunction hearing.

         For the reasons that follow, we affirm the district court's order in its entirety.

         I. The Natural Gas Act ("the NGA") authorizes the holder of a certificate of public convenience and necessity to condemn land necessary for a particular project if it cannot acquire the land through contract or cannot agree with the landowner as to the compensation. 15 U.S.C. § 717f(h). Our holding in East Tennessee Natural Gas Co. v. Sage allows district courts to utilize their equitable power to grant injunctions to gas companies in NGA condemnation proceedings where the company has demonstrated that it has a substantive right to the property pursuant to the NGA and has met the requirements for a preliminary injunction. 361 F.3d 808, 828 (4th Cir. 2004).

         On October 13, 2017, FERC issued a certificate of public convenience and necessity to MVP. The FERC certificate authorizes MVP to construct and operate a 303.5-mile natural gas pipeline from Wetzel County, West Virginia to Pittsylvania County, Virginia. After failing to acquire certain properties necessary for the pipeline through negotiation, MVP filed condemnation actions pursuant to the NGA against landowners in three district courts: in the United States District Courts for the Western District of Virginia and the Southern District of West Virginia on October 24, 2017, and in the United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia on December 8, 2017. This appeal concerns the action before the Southern District of West Virginia.[1]

         In that action, MVP condemned easements on three parcels of land belonging to WPPLP. MVP condemned only the surface of those properties, asserting that the pipeline project did not require condemnation of the mineral rights or coal estate. MVP moved for partial summary judgment on its right to condemn temporary and permanent easements on the properties of several landowners (including those properties belonging to WPPLP) and sought a preliminary injunction allowing immediate access to the properties. MVP requested access to the landowners' property by February 1, 2018, a date MVP claimed would allow it to adhere to its construction schedule, complete tree-clearing in accordance with environmental requirements, and place the pipeline into service in late 2018. On January 19, 2018, WPPLP filed a motion to dismiss the condemnation action for failure to ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.