Northern Natural Gas Company v. 80 Acres of Land in Thurston County, Nebraska et al
ORDER granting 26 Motion to file and Amended Complaint; granting 28 Motion to Stay discovery; and denying as moot 20 Motion to Strike Solomon's Answer and Counterclaim. Ordered by Magistrate Judge Cheryl R. Zwart. (Zwart, Cheryl)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEBRASKA
NORTHERN NATURAL GAS
80 ACRES OF LAND IN THURSTON
COUNTY, NEBRASKA, et. al.;
Plaintiff’s has filed a condemnation action for extending natural gas
pipeline easements through Indian lands located in Thurston County, Nebraska.
Nolan J. Solomon holds an interest in two parcels subject to condemnation and
SW1/4 SW1/4 Section 1, Township 25 North, Range 8 East of the
6th P.M., Thurston County, Nebraska (“Allotment No. 742-2” or
NW1/4 SW1/4 Section 1, Township 25 North, Range 8 East of the
6th P.M., Thurston County, Nebraska (“Allotment No. 742-4” or
(Filing No. 1).
Solomon filed an answer and counterclaim, alleging paragraph 9 of the
Complaint alleges Plaintiff filed an application for right of way on Indian lands, but
this statement is false. Solomon’s counterclaim seeks compensatory damages
for the taking and use of Solomon’s property, and punitive damages for alleged
bad faith in negotiating a price. Plaintiff moved to strike the Answer and
Counterclaim as untimely filed and as raising a counterclaim which is not
permitted under Rule 71.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, (Filing No.
19). Plaintiff has also moved to file an Amended Complaint (Filing No. 26).
Plaintiff’s proposed First Amended Complaint is nearly identical to the
original Complaint. Only paragraph 9 was changed. While Plaintiff originally
alleged it applied to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (“BIA”) for renewal of its rights of
way, the new paragraph 9 alleges Plaintiff submitted its Notice of Intent to Renew
to the BIA and initiated the application process. This change may moot
allegations within Solomon’s Answer and Counterclaim. Moreover, if the
Amended Complaint is filed, Solomon will have another chance to file an Answer,
thus mooting Plaintiff’s claim that the Answer was untimely.
IT IS ORDERED:
Plaintiff’s motion to file an Amended Complaint (Filing No. 26), is
granted. Plaintiff’s proposed Amended Complaint, a copy of which is attached to
its motion, shall be filed on or before February 15, 2018.
Any answer or response to the Amended Complaint shall be filed on
or before March 1, 2018.
Plaintiff’s motion to strike Solomon’s Answer and Counterclaim,
(Filing No. 19), is denied as moot.
The United States’ motion to stay case progression and discovery,
(Filing No. 28), is granted. Discovery is stayed pending further order of the court.
February 8, 2018.
BY THE COURT:
s/ Cheryl R. Zwart
United States Magistrate Judge
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