There may be more resources than you realize out there for eminent domain affected landowners. Take a look through some of the ones that we have collected here to find help, inspiration, and data. If you cannot find the answer to a specific question, email us and we will try and find an expert answer.
It can be difficult to make the decision to find a lawyer and even harder to find a good one. We worked with DC think tank, Niskanen Center, to find and vet a list of expert eminent domain pipeline attorneys who will fight for you. Remember, the pipeline companies have lots of lawyers fighting for them -- make sure you have someone fighting for you because this is about permanent easements.
In every state where there is a battle over eminent domain for a pipeline, grassroots groups organically spring up. No [this-or-that] pipeline group, or the friends of [such-and-such] county, or Protect [this region], or concerned citizens of [this town] or waterbody, youth, interfaith, or environmental groups are formed whenever and wherever communities face the abuse of eminent domain for private fossil fuel projects. From Appalachians Against Pipelines to West Virginia Rivers Coalition and from South Carolina to Oregon, there are hundreds of these local groups who often work along with national groups. Many groups will organize or help you organize pipeline actions. Find a group near you.
We hope you will take a moment to check out our YouTube Channel to see the video stories of eminent domain threatened landowners from around the country. From the story of a Pennsylvania family who watched as hundreds of their trees were destroyed for a pipeline that never got built, to the story of a West Virginia man who spends his life focused on helping his community fight a pipeline, you must see these stories of American heroes standing up for their property rights and take the proper steps towards pipeline action.
One of the best ways to get your opinions out into public discourse is to write a letter to the editor of a local, regional or national newspaper (or online news source). It’s best when a particular story piques your interest or touches a nerve, but, it is also always possible to find anews story that connects to your pipeline fight even tangentially. Every news source accepts letters to the editor and they really do want to hear from you.
Especially after the 2005 Supreme Court case Kelo Vs. City of New London, many states passed eminent domain laws. Some states have more meaningful protections for landowners than others. Many states provide no right for a landowner to get compensated for legal fees for hiring a lawyer to negotiate an easement or retain counsel in an eminent domain proceeding. Texas has a system where disagreements between landowners and pipeline companies end up in “special commissioners court.” One of the good reasons to hire an attorney is that they will know all about your state’s rules.