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Eminent Domain, Do corporations have the right to come on private land? Need help please! Urgent!

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posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:51 PM
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Hey all, I need some advice. I recieved a letter from a natural gas pipeline company yesterday. They are looking to put a pipeline across my property. There is already an exisitng one, so this one would parallel that one. In the letter, they are asking for permission to come on to my land to conduct a survey. In principle, I am not against this, however there seems to be some heavey handed, threatening tone to the letter.

The first half of the letter, is very business like, and politely asking for permission to come on my land, and asking for my signature saying it is okay. The second part has a whole diffrent feel to it. Here are the portions I have real problems with.

"Although the Pipeline prefers to enter with your permission, under New York law, the Pipeline and its employees and agents have ther right to enter upon any real property for the purpose of making surveys, test pits and borings, or other investigations to determine feasibility of a project."

And

"If we do not recieve permission from you by September 17, 2010, please be advised that our represenitives may enter your property for the purpose described in this letter, as authorized by state laws"

Okay, since when did the state of NY give rights to a corporation to come on to private property? I have shearched the internet, and can't find anything. The only article I saw was from back in May, it basically said that the utility companies were lobbieng to get a law passed so if they did not get coperation from land owners they could deem the property condemed and start the Eminent Domain process. I can't find anything that says a law like this was passed.

I am writing a return letter, and would like you all to review it and let me know what changes to make, and how to word things. I don't want to seem too confontational, but this is private property. I don't take well to threats that they will basically do what they want on my land, even without permission.


To whom it may concern at XXXXXXX Pipeline Co.,
I must, at this time, respectfully decline your offer to enter my property for the purpose of making surveys, test pits and borings, or other investigations. Although I would like to continue to work with the pipeline company in this matter, I do not respect the use of the threatening verbage used in the letter received from you. Your letter seems to indicate that your company or agents have the right under New York State Law to enter any private real property without permission. I believe that you are referring to Eminent Domain laws. I am not familiar with any passage or changes that allow pipelines or utilities to claim it, although I did hear that such a law was being lobbied for. In an age of declining personal, and property rights, it would have been more civil to simply ask for permission politely, instead of including the threat of using an obscure (and in my mind, unconstitutional) law to bully land owners into it.

Please also be informed that copies of this letter and your original letter aer being sent to my local sheriffs office, congressmen, and my Lawyer.

Thank you,




posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:54 PM
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Sounds to me like they are saying that they will enter your property no matter what.

Who owns the mineral rights to the property? If they do, then they have the right to do it.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 04:57 PM
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I own the mineral rights. I recieve roalties from a gas well that is located nearby. That is a diffrent company though. The deal with that company was a one time surface search, with no digging, and any rolties from gas produced from under my property. Several companies have approached me over the years to do surveys, soundsings and such. Never once has there been an instance like this.


edit on 8-9-2010 by KnowMore because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:14 PM
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reply to post by KnowMore
 


Yes they can, But They must pay you royalties for the righ to put it there! And they must restore the land to what it was before they dug it up! If you own the mineral rights!



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:16 PM
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Originally posted by KnowMore
I own the mineral rights. I recieve roalties from a gas well that is located nearby. That is a diffrent company though. The deal with that company was a one time surface search, with no digging, and any rolties from gas produced from under my property. Several companies have approached me over the years to do surveys, soundsings and such. Never once has there been an instance like this.


edit on 8-9-2010 by KnowMore because: (no reason given)



If you own the mineral rights, then they don't have the right to be on your property.

However, now that you know these people have their eyes on your land, they may indeed try to start eminent domain procedures against you. I hope not.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:18 PM
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Here is a useful link on Natural Gas Lines in NY, property law etc..

cce.cornell.edu...

Call the gas company. Ask what specific law they are reffering to.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 05:25 PM
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Heres a law in Mass.



Section 44. Whenever the authority deems it necessary to make surveys, soundings, test pits, borings, drillings or examinations to obtain information for or to expedite the construction of public transportation facilities or other projects under its jurisdiction, said authority, or its authorized agents or employees may, after 30 days notice by registered or certified mail and without the necessity of any judicial orders or other legal proceedings, enter upon any lands, waters and premises, not including buildings, in the commonwealth, including lands both publicly and privately owned, including land owned by railroad corporations, for the purpose of making such surveys, soundings, test pits, borings, drillings or examinations as it may deem necessary or convenient for the purposes of this section, and the entry shall not be deemed to be a trespass. Said authority shall make reimbursement for any injury or damage to lands resulting from entry caused by any act of its authorized agents or employees and shall, so far as possible, restore such lands to the same condition as prior to the making of such surveys, soundings, test pits, borings, drillings or examinations.

law.onecle.com...



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:04 PM
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Originally posted by maybereal11
Heres a law in Mass.



Section 44. Whenever the authority deems it necessary to make surveys, soundings, test pits, borings, drillings or examinations to obtain information for or to expedite the construction of public transportation facilities or other projects under its jurisdiction, said authority, or its authorized agents or employees may, after 30 days notice by registered or certified mail and without the necessity of any judicial orders or other legal proceedings, enter upon any lands, waters and premises, not including buildings, in the commonwealth, including lands both publicly and privately owned, including land owned by railroad corporations, for the purpose of making such surveys, soundings, test pits, borings, drillings or examinations as it may deem necessary or convenient for the purposes of this section, and the entry shall not be deemed to be a trespass. Said authority shall make reimbursement for any injury or damage to lands resulting from entry caused by any act of its authorized agents or employees and shall, so far as possible, restore such lands to the same condition as prior to the making of such surveys, soundings, test pits, borings, drillings or examinations.

law.onecle.com...



So that is probably similar to the law in NYS now. I just don't get it. So companies have the right to come on your private land now, without consent.

So, in actuality, there is no such thing as private land. Why even own? Basically the state owns it and allows whoever they fell like on it. Nice.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:13 PM
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If there is an existing pipeline, there will bean easement. You have no say on this strip of land even though you own it. They are being nice to you by giving notice of their intent to work within their easement.

It's kind of like the strip of land between a sidewalk and street. It goes with the property, but the city owns it in most cases.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:29 PM
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Originally posted by hinky
If there is an existing pipeline, there will bean easement. You have no say on this strip of land even though you own it. They are being nice to you by giving notice of their intent to work within their easement.

It's kind of like the strip of land between a sidewalk and street. It goes with the property, but the city owns it in most cases.


Incorrect. You are right about the easment. But that is to a Liquified petrolium pipeline that has been there 40 years. Diffrent company. This is a natural gas pipeline. I already checked on that.

Like I said before, I don't really have a problem with them doing this, it may lead to some money if they put the pipeline in. What I don't like is them using the heavey handed tactics. And now it looks like the State can grant anyone access.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:34 PM
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reply to post by KnowMore
 


If I were you, I would contact the company that you already have a contract with and see what they have to say.
I doubt that they would want someone trying to steal their contract.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:37 PM
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privately owned company and state owned company / branch of the goverment is not the same and does not fall under the category of authority,..

if its a private then they are tresspassing, simple as that



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:44 PM
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I found the positng form back in May that seems to indicate the Utilities (Pipeline) were pushing for a law in NYS. I guess it must have passed, and no one heard about it. Nice way to take more rights away without anyone knowing.

Article


edit on 8-9-2010 by KnowMore because: Fixing link



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:56 PM
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I don’t know how the rest of you feel or how the law is written, but more and more it seems that “we the people” do nothing about anything that is forced on us. If we “own" a section of land what benefits do we get from that property? We must pay for insurance, incase someone gets hurt, because we are libel and may be sued, we have to pay annual taxes, which is not cheep today, If we wish to build ANYTHING we must purchase a permit, let them inspect it, and follow there rules, sometimes even right down to the color, and last but not least, we incur the cost and labor to maintain it.

After all that, where is the justification for anyone to write you a letter of that tone? It is very sad and discouraging to think that for one second we OWN our little piece of the American dream. I don’t know what anyone else thinks, but I think, we need to change the way that things are being done. We need to stay out of our neighbors business, and stop writing new laws every time someone don’t get their own way!

If you own a piece of property, no one should be able to just push you aside and start doing as they wish.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 06:58 PM
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If there is an established easement present on your property, then the eminent domain laws are in effect. Mineral rights have absolutely no bearing in this instance.
I have built thousands of miles of pipelines in the US, and have seen eminent domain used countless times. Often, the landowners have assumed, like you seem to have, that it's your land and you don't have allow access if you don't want to. Whatever you do, DO NOT refuse access. If they have already sent out letters, then the project is a go, and you won't be able to stop it.
My advise to you is to negotiate carefully with the transmission company. Send them a letter that says something to the effect of " I will be happy to work with your company in ensuring access to your easement on my property, with the provision that we have the opportunity to discuss a few issues prior". The goal here is to come across as a willing and compliant landowner at first. You are allowed to set a few stipulations, and you should take a close look at your property and the easement to decide what these will be. For instance, if you have drainage issue on your property near the easement, make it a stipulation that this must be repaired. You do have a significant say in what occurs during construction, so your goal here is to get some free work done to enhance the property. Don't go overboard, but be persistent. You stand to gain more at this point from being nice and polite, but firm. I've seen savvy landowners who play their cards right in these instances turn what seems like a corporate invasion of private property into a nice little windfall.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by hayduke3
If there is an established easement present on your property, then the eminent domain laws are in effect. Mineral rights have absolutely no bearing in this instance.
I have built thousands of miles of pipelines in the US, and have seen eminent domain used countless times. Often, the landowners have assumed, like you seem to have, that it's your land and you don't have allow access if you don't want to. Whatever you do, DO NOT refuse access. If they have already sent out letters, then the project is a go, and you won't be able to stop it.
My advise to you is to negotiate carefully with the transmission company. Send them a letter that says something to the effect of " I will be happy to work with your company in ensuring access to your easement on my property, with the provision that we have the opportunity to discuss a few issues prior". The goal here is to come across as a willing and compliant landowner at first. You are allowed to set a few stipulations, and you should take a close look at your property and the easement to decide what these will be. For instance, if you have drainage issue on your property near the easement, make it a stipulation that this must be repaired. You do have a significant say in what occurs during construction, so your goal here is to get some free work done to enhance the property. Don't go overboard, but be persistent. You stand to gain more at this point from being nice and polite, but firm. I've seen savvy landowners who play their cards right in these instances turn what seems like a corporate invasion of private property into a nice little windfall.


Thanks for the tips. I have no real problem with the company just how they are going about it. In this case you may be correct about the easement. It was my understanding the original easment was to the original pipeline owners, I will check in to that more. The letter seemed like a form letter though, and I am sure that others are getting it that do not have a pipeline on their property, so there would be no easement.

My biggest beef is with the state. If this is not an easment issue, but a form letter, then who is the state, that they grant a private company the rights to enter ANYONES PRIVATE PROPERTY? That is what I have the real problem with.



posted on Sep, 8 2010 @ 08:55 PM
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If the new pipeline is an interstate natural gas pipeline, then must be first approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. With an approval by FERC comes the federal eminent domain rights. The state is not really in play here.
The original pipeline company has probably brokered a deal to allow the new pipeline on their right of way easement. This is pretty common and from an environmental impact standpoint, preferred. Following powerline ROWs, for instance, is common practice.
The easement on your property was purchased by the pipeline company from you or a former owner, so even though you pay the taxes, they actually own it. They will have to pay out "just compensation" to you to install another pipeline.
The letter sounds like a form letter notice. If neighbors with no easements are getting these letters, then the pipeline route will probably require negotiating new right of way easements through some areas. Easement or no easement, it doesn't really matter and they can still invoke eminent domain and condemn your property.
Believe me, I understand your irritation. What irks me is that these companies are operating a very lucrative private commercial venture on your land. As a landowner, you should be able to charge a tariff on the amount of gas moved through the pipeline on your property.

Here's a good link that will help explain. link



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 08:19 AM
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I am not clear on real estate law or rights but you would think that when you purchase land to OWN you would inherently OWN the mineral and water rights. Who in their right mind would not want that included and why wouldn’t it be included? Its loopholes and back alley ways to undermine property rights. It simply just does not make sense. Does anyone else get what I mean?

"Oh Mr. John Doe, yes you do own your land but we own the nutrients, water, minerals, and other resources you land contains. SO, we can do whatever we want because you are just a insignificant inconvenience and you should only be concerned about Jersey Shore and American Idol, because if we have to, we will come down there with our corporate legal fallacy and b!tch slap you."

"Have a nice day"



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 08:51 AM
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Here is TN, companies can enter onto your property for surveying proposes, my husband & I fought that battle a few years ago. As for the test pits & borings that is probably to find out what they are up against when digging to lay the pipeline. Sucks, but not illegal. They do not even have to clean up after themselves.


As for Eminent Domain, if your government sees the project as having appreciable benefits to the community, they can take what ever land they want. The cold hard reality is Eminent Domain has stripped US property owners of their rights. If they do take a portion of your land for this pipeline, then they must compensate you, usually pennies for what it is really worth.

By the way, you can thank the Supreme Court for this violation of property rights. On June 23, 2005, the Supreme Court issued its opinion on Kelo v. City of New London, they upheld the right for state and local governments to seize privately owned land for private commercial development on behalf of private developers. The decision was 5-4.

Keep us updated on what happens.



posted on Sep, 9 2010 @ 10:10 AM
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Originally posted by maybereal11
Heres a law in Mass.



authorized agents or employees may, after 30 days notice by registered or certified mail and without the necessity of any judicial orders or other legal proceedings, enter upon any lands, waters and premises, not including buildings, in the commonwealth,

law.onecle.com...



If you wanted to mess with them...Ask where they would like to survey...and then move a small shed to that location
The law doesn't permit them to enter "buildings".



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