The property of no person shall be taken for public use without just compensation.
Q: What can IET do for landowners who join?
- IET will act as a “buffer” between landowners and CO2 Pipelines when the company approaches them, by taking CO2 Pipeline’s calls, etc. Once you have told CO2 Pipelines that you belong to IET and that you are represented by Brian Jorde and Domina Law, they cannot contact you any further and all communications should be sent the IET legal team at Domina Law so that you do not have to worry about further harassing phone calls or visits.
- Should either or both pipeline companies file an Application for pipeline route with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB), Domina Law will represent all IET affected landowners in these legal proceedings involving both Summit and Navigator. This means that you will have legal representation every step of the way to put your best case forward and make your voices heard. Representation here is designed to best protect your land by resisting these projects that seek to go on, under, and through your property.
- IET will keep landowners abreast regarding if, and when, it may eventually be necessary to negotiate with Summit and/or Navigator over easement terms. This would occur only if landowners are unsuccessful at the IUB phase and after any appeals related to the IUB decision.
- If a pipeline is approved and an easement is unavoidable, IET will work to negotiate the best uniform terms for all IET landowners using expertise from decades of easement negotiations so that landowners can have the best protections possible.
Q: How can IET provide help to landowners at a low price?
- Brian Jorde and Domina Law have accomplished successful yet inexpensively priced efforts for landowners in Nebraska and Wisconsin, protecting their land against the Keystone XL pipeline and Enbridge expansion plans, and has handled these fights from A-Z before. He and his Law Firm is offering their expertise to IET for much less cost than other attorneys could and would ordinarily charge, because he believes in the rights of people in regard to their own land. Not only that, as an attorney with expertise in property law, Mr. Jorde would be able to identify and deal with crucial elements more quickly than attorneys who are less familiar with these complex matters.
- “Economies of scale” make a difference. By joining a large group of similarly affected Iowa landowners you can spread the costs of litigation across many families as opposed to a single family or a small group of families paying the entire cost of a lawyer to fight for them alone.
- Landowners involved pay a pro-rata share of legal fees and expenses and thus only have a small fraction of the actual cost and expense of a major legal effort like these will be.
Q: What is an easement?
- Any easement is a legal right usually reduced to writing in an Easement Agreement that spells out how the pipeline company will use your land for their profit while you continue to pay taxes and insurance. It spells out what the pipeline company can do and therefore what you can’t do and establishes restrictions on your land. The proposed easements are “perpetual” which means forever. The pipeline company proposes to pay you one time and you can never go back and obtain more easement compensation in the future. The pipeline company can sell or assign their easement on your property to any person, company, or country in the world at anytime and you can’t do anything to stop that.
Q: Do I have to sign an easement?
- Not only do you not have to sign the pipeline company’s easement, you do not have to talk to them or interact with them. We encourage you NOT TO SIGN ANYTHING until and if you completely understand all the risks and ways the easement and having the pipeline on your property will affect you forever. If you join up with IET and become a part of our collective legal representation – you never have to directly interact with these companies or their agents ever again.
Q: Can the pipeline company survey my land?
- After the informational meeting or after the filing of a petition to the IUB, if no informational meeting is required, a pipeline company may enter upon private land for the purpose of surveying and examining the land to determine direction or depth of pipelines by giving ten (10) days’ written notice by restricted certified mail to the landowner as defined in section 479B.4 and to any person residing on or in possession of the land. The entry for land surveys shall not be deemed a trespass and may be aided by injunction. The pipeline company shall pay the actual damages caused by the entry, survey, and examination.
You are not required to accept the restricted certified mail or to sign for it. You are encouraged to film and photograph the surveyor’s actions and to document any property damage.
Q: What if I already have an attorney?
- If you have a previously established relationship with an attorney (e.g. for your will, estate, etc.) it is reasonable to let them know you are joining IET and why. Having your own attorney work with you, rather than IET, is your decision of course, but we encourage you to work with an attorney experienced in these matters and who has battled large pipeline companies before.
- If you have already contacted an attorney for the express purpose of having them deal with CO2 Pipelines, it is reasonable to have a forthright conversation with them about your interest in IET.
Q: Once I have joined IET, what can I expect and what do I need to do?
- You will be able to join our bi-monthly (sometimes weekly) ZOOM video conference meetings where landowners share information on what is happening across the state and our Legal Team provides guidance and answers your questions and discusses the plans and strategies moving forward.
- You will receive periodic email updates on the latest news and urgent updates.
- You will not have to deal with Summit and/or Navigator directly again, your Legal Team will handle all communications with the pipeline company.
Q: What should I do if an CO2 Pipelines representative knocks on my door and wants to come in and talk, or telephones me to talk?
- You do NOT have to speak with them in person or by phone, nor invite them into your home. You should ask for the representative’s name and position with CO2 Pipelines, ask them for identification if in person, and politely state that you do not wish to speak to them.
- You should advise them to call your lawyer, Brian Jorde, and provide his information to them. You do NOT have to give them ANY other information.
Q: What is Condemnation?
- Condemnation is the name of a legal proceeding that occurs when an entity (usually a governmental entity) who has the power of eminent domain uses that power to condemn or take all or a portion of another’s property for the condemner’s use and purpose.
- Condemnation is a process by which the landowner whose property is being taken can present evidence in Court to jurors from the county were the land is located who will determine the value, or the monetary compensation, that the taker must pay the landowner.
- Often before Condemnation litigation starts there is a period of negotiation with the taker, here potentially a Carbon Pipeline company, and you can negotiate the terms or fine print of the contract, called an Easement, and you can negotiate price or the financial compensation that will be paid.
- If negotiations fail, condemnation often starts where you can go all the way to trial and/or continue to negotiate along the way if you think it is likely you can reach an agreement.
- For the matter at hand, Condemnation could not commence, if ever, until the Carbon Pipeline company has full IUB approval and any and all appeals of that approval have concluded.
Q: What if there are multiple owners of the affected property?
- Any individual can join the Easement Team and support its efforts, however, to participate with others in the collective legal services of Domina Law, a majority of the owners need to sign Domina Law’s Professional Services Agreement.
Q: What if the land is owned by a Corporation, LLC, Trust, or in an Estate proceeding?
- Whoever has decision making authority over the entity owning the land must sign Domina Law’s Professional Services Agreement to participate in group legal services. So, the Trustee or Co-Trustees of a Trust, the Manager or a majority of members of an LLC, the Personal Representative or Special Administrator of an Estate, and the President or majority owners of a Corporation.
Q: Are the affected Summit landowners in the same group as the Navigator landowners?
- Because each pipeline company will file their own specific pipeline route applications to the IUB, each of those proceedings will be separate, however we may utilize the same expert witnesses and many of the legal arguments will likely be similar in each resistance such that there is benefit to having each group under one tent so to speak. But Summit landowners will be responsible for the expense related to the Summit IUB and resistance efforts and vice versa for Navigator.
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