On April 15th, NOPE and the Cities of: Blue Ash, Evendale and Reading filed a Joint Notice of Appeal with the Ohio Supreme Court. The appeal focuses on improper application of Ohio law as it relates to need and other legal criteria and challenges evidence upon which OPSB based their decisions. Blue Ash, Evendale and Reading also filed a Joint Motion for Stay Pending Appeal, requesting that all work on the Central Corridor Pipeline be paused until the Court considers and determines the merits of the Notice of Appeal filed by them and NOPE.
Here is what happens during the Appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court:
1) Court accepts the NOPE/Municipal Intervenors Joint Notice of Appeal and Joint Motion for Stay
2) Court renders decision on Stay request to pause construction of Central Corridor Pipeline
3) Court sets a case schedule for documents and oral arguments (if appropriate)
4) NOPE/Intervenors submit briefs and provide oral arguments (if required)
5) Ohio Supreme Court deliberates case and renders a decision
While we have a good idea of the next steps, the timeline for this process is uncertain, due to the Covid-19 impact on the Ohio Government, including the Supreme Court. Specifically, the Ohio Supreme Court issued a “Tolling of Requirements”, suspending timelines for legal documents and proceedings until July 30, 2020. It remains unknown when the Court will review the appeal documents and establish a schedule for future proceedings.
Earlier this year, Duke sent letters to some property owners from whom they will need to acquire an easement and renters who rent/lease property where easements will be required. The letter indicates that Duke representatives will be in the area in the coming months gathering information about properties and/or acquiring easements.
While NOPE and the Municipalities are appealing to the Ohio Supreme Court, representatives from Duke might still approach property owners and attempt to get easements.ew
If you have an attorney, we strongly recommend that you ask her or him to assist BEFORE you sign anything.
If you do not have an attorney, please call the Cincinnati Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service 513-381-8213 and tell them that you have a Duke Gas Pipeline easement issue.
NOPE does not offer legal advice but cautions owners and renters to recognize that Duke is seeking your permission and you have a right to decline. Whatever you sign for Duke might affect future purchasers of your property and caution is essential.
What you can do:
• Please share this important information with others who might be affected by Duke’s Central Corridor Pipeline Project.
• Support your local government in their Appeal- let them know you appreciate their perseverance on this issue.