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Dominion Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC v. 0.944 Acres

United States District Court, D. South Carolina, Columbia Division

March 13, 2018

Dominion Energy Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
0.944 Acres, in Richland County, South Carolina located on Parcel R39100-02-03; WILLIE PATTERSON, JEAN STEWART PATTERSON, ERIC PATTERSON, TOYYA YVETTE AZIAN, CACH, LLC, LOVELESS COMMERCIAL CONTRACTING, INC., SOUTH CAROLINA COMMUNITY BANK, AND TD BANK, N.A., AS SUCCESSOR BY MERGER WITH CAROLINA FIRST BANK, Defendants.

          ORDER AND OPINION

         I. RELEVANT FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         This case arises from Dominion Energy Carolina Gas Transmission, LLC's (“DCGT's”) exercise of its eminent domain powers pursuant to the Natural Gas Act (“NGA”), 15 U.S.C. § 717, et seq. and the applicable Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) Certificate order. DCGT brought this action under the NGA and Rule 71.1, FRCP, seeking certain easements (“easements” or “Rights of Way”) it requires in connection with its Eastover pipeline project (“Project”) over property described as follows (the “Property”):

All that certain piece, parcel or lot of land together with the improvements thereon, located in the lower township in the County of Richland, State of South Carolina, containing twenty five (25) acres of land, and being the Eastern half of Fifty (50) acre tract being described in a plat for D.M. Bynum by J.R. Seay, January 29, 1918, and filed in plat book “C” as page 255 and also being described as Parcel “B” on a plat prepared for Earnest Patterson and Susan Patterson dated November 14, 1978, by Claude R. McMillan, Jr., recorded in the Office of the RMC for Richland County on June 17, 1980.
Said parcel being bounded on the North by land now or formerly of Freeman whereon it measures Three Hundred Ninety-six (396') feet; South by land now or formerly of Bynum whereon it measures Three Hundred Ninety-six (396') feet; East by land now or formerly of Bynum heirs whereon it measures Two Thousand Seven Hundred Seventy-two (2772') feet, be all measurements a little more or less.

TMS# R39100-02-03.

         The court has previously granted partial summary judgment as to DCGT's right to condemn the requested easements over the property (ECF No. 54). By way of this Order, the court hereby grants the requested easements, determines just compensation, and directs the Clerk of Court to disburse the deposited funds as set forth herein.

         II. ANALYSIS

         This matter was tried by the court on February 8, 2018. Sarah Spruill appeared on behalf of DCGT. None of the Defendants were present. Based on the evidence presented, the court rules as follows:

         I. Easements

         In its Complaint (ECF No. 1), DCGT seeks easement interests in the Property as shown on Exhibits E and F, which are incorporated by reference herein. DCGT specified that the terms of the easements shall be as follows:

To the extent Exhibit E shows a Permanent Easement, DCGT seeks an easement or Right-of-Way to lay, construct, excavate for, maintain, inspect, operate, protect, repair, renew, remove, or replace a pipeline for the transportation of natural gas, including any appurtenances (including but not limited to metering facilities, regulating facilities, valve facilities, fences, gates, concrete pads, cathodic protection, etc. and any communications facilities incidental thereto) necessary or desirable for regulatory compliance at any time, together with the right of ingress and egress to access said easement or Right-of-Way. To the extent Exhibit C shows a Temporary Workspace Area or Additional Temporary Workspace, DCGT seeks an easement for purposes of the construction of the Project together with the right of ingress and egress to access said easement. The requested temporary easement shall terminate upon the completion of the Project or such earlier date as determined by DCGT.

(ECF No. at ¶ 19.)

DCGT also seeks a Permanent Access Road Non-Exclusive Easement and Right-Of-Way in Property-1, for the purpose, at any time and from time to time, of surveying, clearing, excavating, constructing, maintaining, inspecting, altering, repairing, replacing and using a permanent roadway for ingress and egress, to access and service pipeline operations, including the transportation of any and all equipment necessary or convenient for such operations as shown on Exhibit F. DCGT shall have the right to cut and remove trees, brush, rocks, and other obstructions within ...

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