Document Type

Student Article


The natural gas industry is central to the United States economy. However, due to vague regulations and judicial leniency, natural gas pipeline companies have almost zero restraint in exercising eminent domain. Their current operations mirror that of the federal government’s authority to exercise immediate possession. Recently, landowners have contested the pipeline industry’s authority to exercise eminent domain, which has developed into a circuit split. The Fourth Circuit, and the six other circuits that have followed suit, hold that pipeline companies have the substantive right to immediate entry and are entitled to a preliminary injunction before a trial on just compensation. The Seventh Circuit holds that the courts do not have the authority to grant immediate entry, and the pipeline company must complete the entire standard condemnation process before entering the property. In 2019, there were two attempts to bring this issue before the Supreme Court, and both attempts failed. This Note evaluates the most recent attempt in Givens v. Mountain Valley Pipeline, LLC and argues that the Supreme Court should address this issue and adopt the Seventh Circuit approach.



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