SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION LLC v. REAL ESTATE et al
ORDER granting 27 Motion for Summary Judgment. Ordered by US DISTRICT JUDGE CLAY D LAND on 08/21/2017. (CCL)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
SABAL TRAIL TRANSMISSION, LLC,
REAL ESTATE et al.,
4:16-cv-122 (Thomas E. Callis
and William G. Callis, III)
O R D E R
Presently pending before the Court is Plaintiff Sabal Trail
Transmission, LLC’s summary judgment motion on the issue of just
compensation in this condemnation action.
As discussed below,
the Court grants Sabal Trail’s motion (ECF No. 27) and finds
that $14,564.00 is just compensation for the easements.
authorization from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to
build an interstate natural gas pipeline.
Sabal Trail brought
15 U.S.C. §§ 717-717z, seeking permanent and temporary easements
over one tract of land in Terrell County, Georgia.
William G. Callis, III but may be subject to state and county
Sabal Trail named as Defendants in this action the
Callises, the Georgia Department of Revenue, and Terrell County—
all of whom are “known to have or claim an interest in the
Property from which easements and associated rights are sought
to be condemned.”
Compl. ¶ 5, ECF No. 1.
Each Defendant was
served personally with notice of this action in accordance with
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 71.1(d)(3)(A).
On June 10, 2016, the Court concluded that Sabal Trail was
entitled to possession of the easements it sought once it posted
a security bond.
Sabal Trail Transmission, LLC v. Estate, No.
4:16-cv-122, 2016 WL 3248367, at *10, *17 (M.D. Ga. June 10,
2016), amended, No. 4:16-cv-122, 2016 WL 3251577 (M.D. Ga. June
Pl.’s Notice of Posting Security Bonds, July 1, 2016, ECF
Sabal Trail posted the security bond on July 1,
The only remaining issue is just compensation.
property on the date of the taking.” United States ex rel.TVA v.
1.72 Acres of Land in Tenn., 821 F.3d 742, 756 (6th Cir. 2016)
(citing United States v. Miller, 317 U.S. 369, 373–74 (1943)).
In a partial takings case like this one, just compensation “is
the difference in fair market value of the whole tract before
and after the taking.”
Id. (quoting United States ex rel. TVA
v. Easements and Rights–of–Way over 6 Acres of Land, 117 F.
(collecting cases); United States v. 68.94 Acres of Land, More
or Less, Situate in Kent Cty., State of Del., 918 F.2d 389, 393
(3d Cir. 1990).
Generally, “market or comparable sales data
. . . is the best evidence of market value.”
1.72 Acres of Land
in Tenn., 821 F.3d at 757.
Sabal Trail argues that just compensation for the easements
in this case is $14,564.00.
Pl.’s Mot. for Summ. J. 1, ECF No.
Summary judgment may be granted only “if the movant shows
that there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Civ. P. 56(a).
In this condemnation case, Defendants have the
amount constitutes just compensation.”
1.72 Acres of Land in
“present evidence on the amount of compensation to be paid.”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 71.1(e)(3).
None of the Defendants responded to
Sabal Trail’s summary judgment motion or presented any evidence
on what amount constitutes just compensation for the easements.
compensation: the expert report of Mike Everett, a certified
real property appraiser.
Everett Report, ECF No. 29 at 5-84.
Everett conducted an appraisal of the property and concluded
that the “before” value of the parcel as of July 1, 2016 was
temporary and permanent easements and a permanent access road,
Id. at 8.
Therefore, according to Everett, just
compensation for the easements in this case is $14,564.00.
Again, Defendants did not present any evidence on the issue of
Based on the evidence before it, the Court
concludes that $14,564.00 is just compensation for the easements
in this case.
III. Payment of Compensation by Sabal Trail
Application for Obtaining Disbursement
Within twenty-eight days of the date of this Order, Sabal
Trail shall pay into the registry of the Court $14,564.00 plus
prejudgment interest from the date of the taking (July 1, 2016),
which shall be calculated at a legal rate of interest of seven
percent per annum simple interest.
Once this amount is paid
into the registry of the Court, the security bond previously
posted by Sabal Trail shall be released.
Defendants may apply to the Court for distribution of the
award in accordance with their respective ownership interests.
Defendants may apply for a distribution of the award by sending
an application to the Clerk of Court, P.O. Box 124, Columbus GA
The Clerk shall docket each application electronically.
The application should include:
The applicant’s claimed interest in the property and the
basis for that claim.
Proof of the applicant’s interest in the property.
questions regarding the application process should be directed
If multiple applications are
received, the Court will schedule a hearing to determine how the
proceeds should be distributed.
Providing Notice to Defendants
filing through the Court’s electronic filing system and thus
will not receive electronic notice of this Order automatically.
The Clerk shall serve a copy of this Order via U.S. mail on each
of the Defendants listed in Appendix A to this Order; according
Legal Title to Easements
After Sabal Trail pays into the registry of the Court the
amount stated above, Sabal Trail shall submit to the Court a
proposed final order vesting Sabal Trail with legal title to the
permanent and temporary easements.
IT IS SO ORDERED, this 21st day of August, 2017.
S/Clay D. Land
CLAY D. LAND
CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA
The Clerk shall serve a copy of this Order via U.S. mail on
each of the following Defendants:
Thomas E. Callis
321 Harmony Trail
Deridder, LA 70634
William G. Callis, III
321 Harmony Trail
Deridder, LA 70634
Georgia Department of Revenue
c/o Lynette T. Riley
State Revenue Commissioner
1800 Century Boulevard
Atlanta, GA 30345
Terrell County Board of Commissioners
c/o Wilbur T. Gamble, III, Chairman
955 Forrester Drive, SE
Dawson, GA 39842
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