WJTC WJTC/UTV44 - Search Results
MAWSS Ask Judge to Dismiss Plains Southcap Lawsuit
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) - A judge will consider if he will dismiss lawsuit against the Mobile Area Water Sewer System. Plains SouthCap and the water company faced off in a hearing Thursday morning about who has eminent domain. Plains Southcap filed a lawsuit against MAWSS to condemn a piece of land so it can continue construction of the controversial pipeline. MAWSS has not given up the land because it said the pipeline could put Mobiles clean water supply at risk.
Questions like, Can land be condemned twice? and Can an LLC Company have the power to condemn land? were key points argued in the hearing.
The pipeline is already 70 percent complete. It said the line could pump thousands of barrels of crude oil through Mobile's drinking water shed. One of the main things stopping Plains South Cap is MAWSS.
We don't agree of a condemnation of ours. It's inappropriate, and I think the court was willing to take that up, said MAWSS attorney Jim Atchison.
MAWSS representatives asked Probate Court Judge Don Davis to dismiss the pipeline companys condemnation lawsuit.
Plains as an entity does not have standing to condemn MAWSS's property and come through our water shed without our permission, and we do not give that permission and will not, said Atchison.
Plains representatives said the Alabama Public Service Commission gave it permission and should be granted now.
Plains All American Attorney Jarrod White said, Plains Southcap clearly has authority to condemn. The Public Service Commission had determined that, this court has, and the law supports us.
Alabama law allows cities, counties, corporations, and individuals to exercise eminent domain. Attorneys with MAWSS said the law does not apply to Plains Southcap because it is an LLC, not a corporation.
In Court, White told Judge Davis Plains operates and has characteristics of a corporation and should reap the benefits.
Concerned citizen Tom Hutchings said, I think there's a lot of pressure on the judge to make a decision for the community based on what's best for the community, and I think there's laws to support it.
White said Judge Davis has already ruled in its favor during another eminent domain lawsuit in the Whitehead case. Judge Davis stated he only settled an agreement between both parties based on the owners willingness to hand over their property, not because the company has eminent domain power. It is unclear whether the judge will rule to dismiss the case or not. He said he wants to review the filings before making a decision.