Filing 37

ORDER re 35 Response to Motion, which the Court construes as an out-of-time motion for reconsideration. The motion is denied. Ordered by US DISTRICT JUDGE CLAY D LAND on 12/16/2016. (CCL)

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IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA COLUMBUS DIVISION SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION, LLC, Plaintiff, * * vs. * REAL ESTATE, et al., * Defendants. * CASE NO. 4:16-cv-119 O R D E R Defendant Mae Ola Alston Ra’Oof, who is proceeding pro se, filed a brief asking the Court “NOT [to] GRANT Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC the Right to Condemn farmland belonging to the Estate of Richard Alston and Bobbie Alston, et al.” 2, ECF No. 35 in 4:16-cv-119. Def.’s Br. Ra’oof attached several exhibits to her brief, including a notice of administrator for the estate of Rufus Alston. Though Ra’Oof did not state the basis for her request or explain the relevance of the exhibits she submitted, the Court considers her brief to be an out-of-time motion for reconsideration of the Court’s previous order granting partial summary judgment in favor of Sabal Trail. The motion for Trail has reconsideration is denied. The Court already concluded that “Sabal established as a matter of law that it has a right to condemn the easements under the Natural Gas Act.” Order Granting Mots. for Partial Summ. J. & Mots. for Prelim. Inj. 15, ECF No. 27 in 4:16-cv-119 (ECF No. 88 in 4:16-cv-97). The Court also concluded that “Sabal Trail is entitled to immediate possession of the easements once it posts proper security bonds with the Clerk of the Court for each condemned property.” Id. at 21. This ruling means that the Court has already granted Sabal Trail the right to condemn the farmland at issue in this case. Ra’Oof did not provide any legal basis for the Court to reconsider its prior conclusion. The Court notes that Ra’Oof previously filed a motion to dismiss Sabal Trail’s action because she and several other Defendants believed that they had reached a deal with Sabal Trail regarding the easement; those Defendants sought to enforce the agreement. cv-119. See Def.’s Mot. to Dismiss, ECF No. 13 in 4:16- The Court denied the motion to dismiss because “the proper vehicle for asserting objections and defenses to a taking is the answer, not a motion to dismiss.” Order Granting Mots. for Partial Summ. J. & Mots. for Prelim. Inj. 9. In addition, Sabal Trail identified twenty-eight individuals who may have an interest in the property. Defendants asserted in their motion to dismiss that eight individuals agreed to a deal with Sabal Trail. And Ra’Oof submitted an exhibit suggesting that five additional Defendants would agree to a deal. ECF No. 35-8 in 4:16-cv-119. Def.’s Br. Ex. B, But Defendants did not establish 2 that everyone who has an interest in the property agreed to the deal before Defendants Sabal have Trail not filed refuted this Sabal suit, which Trail’s means assertion that that it could not acquire the easement by contract. For all of these reasons, its the Court declines to reconsider prior order granting partial summary judgment in favor of Sabal Trail. The next step in this case is determination of the amount of just compensation. The case is currently in discovery, which is must when the position on parties the Scheduling/Discovery amount Order, gather of evidence just ECF No. Discovery will close on March 31, 2017. judgment motions are due by May 15, 2017. to support compensation. 33 in See 4:16-cv-119. Id. at 16. Id. their Summary If there is a genuine fact dispute on the amount of just compensation, then the Court will hold proceedings to determine the amount of just compensation. Of course, if Defendants can reach a deal with Sabal Trail to which all of the individuals who hold an interest in the property agree, then such further proceedings would be unnecessary. IT IS SO ORDERED, this 16th day of December, 2016. s/Clay D. Land CLAY D. LAND CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA 3

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