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Square Butte Elec. Coop. v. Hilken

Citation: 6 ELR 20041
No. No. 24097, (N.D. Dist. Ct., 08/14/1975)

The court dismisses an electrical cooperative's complaint seeking to exercise the power of eminent domain against a number of individual North Dakota landowners in order to construct an electrical transmission line. The taking of private property for public use under the state's power of eminent domain, which has been delegated to the plaintiff, requires a showing of substantial benefit to North Dakota residents. The primary purpose of the proposed transmission line is to supply power to the taconite industry of Minnesota, and while this is a necessary and valid use within Minnesota, it will not support use of eminent domain in North Dakota. Plaintiff has failed to show that the line will be of substantial benefit to the citizens of North Dakota; since no valid public use within the state will be served, the complaint must be dismissed.

Counsel for Plaintiff
David F. Knutson
Vogel, Vogel, Brantner & Kelly
409 1/2 6th Avenue North
Fargo, N.D. 58102

Counsel for Defendants
Loren L. Johnson
Johnson, Johnson & Devine
Johnson Building
Lakota, N.D. 58344

Carma Christensen
Box 1771
Bismarck, N.D. 58501

Joseph A. Vogel
Box 484
Mandan, N.D. 58554

Alfred C. Schultz
Sperry & Schultz
Woolworth Building, Suite 27
Bismarck, N.D. 58501