OCA Files Amicus Brief Challenging Practice of Conveying Immediate Possession to Natural Gas Pipeline Companies
Recently, several federal courts of appeals have upheld giving immediate possession of property (sometimes called quick take) to a private pipeline condemnor once a district court has ruled in favor of the pipeline that it qualifies to condemn property under15 U.S.C. § 717f(h). These courts conclude that summary judgment grants a pipeline a “substantive” right, and therefore there’s no reason to not give it possession now by granting a Rule 65 injunction. But a close reading of section 717f(h) establishes that it is only addresses whether a private pipeline company may institute an eminent domain lawsuit to take property, i.e. whether it has standing. It does not delegate the separate power to take immediate possession of property. See OCA’s recently filed Amicus Brief making these points.