Enable Oklahoma Intrastate Transmission LLC v. 25 Foot Wide Easement et al
ORDER denying 59 Motion for New Trial. Signed by Honorable Vicki Miles-LaGrange on 7/21/2017. (ac)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
WESTERN DISTRICT OF OKLAHOMA
ENABLE OKLAHOMA INTRASTATE
TRANSMISSION, LLC, a Delaware
limited liability company,
A 25 FOOT WIDE EASEMENT and
right-of-way for underground natural gas
pipeline lying and situated in the Southwest )
Quarter of the Southeast Quarter and the
West Half of the Southeast Quarter of the )
Southeast Quarter in Section 28, Township 7 )
North, Range 11 West of the I. B. & M., in )
Caddo County, State of Oklahoma, et al.,
Case No. CIV-15-1250-M
Before the Court is plaintiff’s Motion for New Trial, filed September 14, 2016. On
September 28, 2016, the individual defendants filed their response, and on October 5, 2016,
plaintiff filed its reply to the individual defendants’ response. On November 2, 2016, defendant
United States filed its response, and on November 16, 2016, plaintiff filed its reply to defendant
United States’ response. On March 9, 2017, plaintiff filed a notice of supplemental authority, and
on March 13, 2017, the individual defendants filed a response to plaintiff’s notice of supplemental
authority. Finally, on May 26, 2017, the individual defendants filed a Notice of Subsequently
On August 18, 2016, this Court granted defendants’ motions to dismiss and dismissed this
case. Plaintiff now moves, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 59, for a new trial.
Specifically, plaintiff contends that this Court erred as a matter of law when it held that
fractionalized interests of allotted Indian land, which escheated from a deceased allottee to an
Indian Tribe through operation of the Indian Land Consolidation Act, became cloaked with
sovereign immunity, thus precluding condemnation of the land and the joinder of the Tribe.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit recently addressed this specific
issue in Public Service Company of New Mexico v. Barboan, 857 F.3d 1101 (10th Cir. 2017), and
affirmed the district court’s dismissal of a condemnation action for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction as to two land parcels in which an Indian Tribe held an interest. The Tenth Circuit
held “[w]hen all or part of a parcel of allotted land owned by one or more individuals is transferred
to the United States in trust for a tribe; that land becomes ‘tribal land’ not subject to condemnation
under § 357.” Id. at 1111 (internal quotations and citation omitted). The Tenth Circuit further
held that “because the tribe owns an interest in the disputed parcels, § 357’s ‘[l]ands allotted in
severalty to Indians’ prerequisite is inapplicable and so the law gives [plaintiff] no authority to
condemn. And that deprives us of federal jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.” Id. at 1112.
In light of the Tenth Circuit’s opinion in Public Service Company of New Mexico v.
Barboan, the Court finds that it did not err in dismissing this case. Accordingly, the Court DENIES
plaintiff’s Motion for New Trial [docket no. 59].
IT IS SO ORDERED this 21st day of July, 2017.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?