Northwest Landowners Association WINS Lawsuit against State of North Dakota and Continental Resources, Inc. over Unconstitutional Taking of Private Property

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Northwest Landowners Association WINS Lawsuit against State of North Dakota and Continental Resources, Inc. over Unconstitutional Taking of Private Property

Today, the real winners are the property owners of ND!

PR Newswire

BISMARCK, N.D., Jan. 22, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- On January 21, 2021, the Northeast Judicial District Court issued its decision in favor of the Landowners, agreeing that it is an unconstitutional taking, and striking the law down in full. The Court explained in its opinion: "There is no choice in the matter. This is an unconstitutional taking of an inherent, inalienable property right…." The Court ruled that the law is also unconstitutional under the North Dakota Constitution because the taking is" for the improper purpose of economic development, by giving all value of those property rights to a private party, for a non-public purpose."

Northwest Landowners Association had filed a complaint July 29, 2019, in state district court asking the court to declare Senate Bill 2344 unconstitutional, void, and of no effect.  Specifically, the Association alleged the following:

  • "Prior to Senate Bill 2344, North Dakota's landowners had the exclusive right to possess and use the pore spare within their lands, as recognized by case law and prior statutes."
  • "Senate Bill 2344 strips landowners of their right to possess and use the pore space within their lands and allows the State of North Dakota to directly redistribute that right to others without the consent of or compensation to the landowners."
  • "In enacting Senate Bill 2344, the State of North Dakota attempts to give mineral developers free use of the landowner's pore space and remove any rights or remedies the surface owner has to object or demand compensation."
  • "Taking property from a private landowner in this manner, particularly without paying compensation, and then giving it to another private entity to use, is unconstitutional on several grounds."
  • "Senate Bill 2344 is unconstitutional under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, and under the Constitution of North Dakota, Article I, §§ 9 (open courts), 12 (due process), 16 (unconstitutional taking), and 21 & 22 (equal protection); and Article 10, § 18 (gift clause)."
  • "The law is void as violative of both the United States Constitution and the Constitution of North Dakota."

Northwest Landowners Association has never been engaged in litigation, but as board member Patty Jensen said with respect to taking on the responsibility of challenging the constitutionality of Senate Bill 2344, "It's just the right thing to do."  They were represented by The Braaten Law Firm.

The Association was very active during the legislative session opposing Senate Bill 2344, as well as supporting numerous other bills related to landowner protections.  Northwest Landowners Association is leading the charge, but it is well known that landowners throughout the state are extremely upset over the unconstitutional taking embodied by Senate Bill 2344.

Contact Information
Troy Coons
Chairman
Northwest Landowners Association
(701) 721-4258
[email protected]

 

Cision View original content to download multimedia:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/northwest-landowners-association-wins-lawsuit-against-state-of-north-dakota-and-continental-resources-inc-over-unconstitutional-taking-of-private-property-301213323.html

SOURCE ND Northwest Landowners Association

Copyright CNW Group 2021

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