Buy the Farm at Supreme Court – Xcel/NSP objects!

Filed under:Buy the Farm — posted by admin on October 1, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

(be sure to check out the Scott County Order at the bottom of the page)

Northern States Power (Now it’s NSP, it’s been Xcel in the dockets at the PUC, why the difference?) objects to landowners taking the recent Appellate decision on Buy the Farm to the Supreme Court:

Northern States Power’s Opposition to Review

As I’ve reported before, there was a decision at the Minnesota Court of Appeals that is very detrimental to landowners exercising the “Buy the Farm” option under Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd. 4, where the Appellate Court tossed out District Court decisions that those electing Buy the Farm were due “minimum compensation” and “relocation compensation” under Minnesota’s Ch. 117, governing condemnation in Minnesota.

Buy the Farm – NSP v. Aleckson, Pudas, Hanson, et al.

The Dissent was dead on, here’s a snippet:

And summing it up:

Here’s the District Court decision that the Appellate Court turned around:

Stearns County Order 73-CV-10-10828

Wright County Order – 86-CV-10-7551

Landowners are, of course, outraged that this compensation is even at issue, much less being denied by the Appellate Court, so it’s off to the Supreme Court.  Here are the Petitions to the Supreme Court, still pending:

Northern States Power v. Roger Aleckson, et al. – Hanson and Stich Petition

Northern States Power v. Aleckson, et al. – Enos and Pudas Petition

The District Courts are clearly more understanding to what it means for landowners to have the CapX 2020 transmission project across their land, and what it means to make the decision to pick up and leave.

Yes, folks, the rumors are true — from the files of the Scott County Courthouse, here’s a first of its kind decision from Scott County District Court.  The court ordered that regarding the property of a landowner electing “Buy the Farm” (Minn. Stat. 216E.12, Subd. 4) the utility deposit the entire (utility) appraisal amount as it takes title in a quick take, similar to the requirement that it deposit the entire utility appraisal amount for an easement (and then the details are argued and agreed, or if no agreement is reached, it goes to Commissioners to make a recommendation to the court).

Scott County Buy the Farm Order 70-CV-12-8999

Here’s that specific most interesting part:

So will someone please explain why parties electing Buy the Farm aren’t all demanding the utilities deposit the full “Buy the Farm” appraised value?

This is just one of many (thousands?) of eminent domain proceedings for CapX 2020 transmission.  In the early stages, No CapX 2020 requested that the cost of Buy the Farm elections be considered in the cost/benefit analysis of transmission in the Certificate of Need.  If a large percentage of landowners elected Buy the Farm, the cost of the project would be much much higher.  Seeing that, consideration of impact of landowner election of Buy the Farm is an “issue outside the scope of the EIS” in recent Scoping Decision (Hampton-La Crosse 09-1448):

Now where’s that rule… I know it’s here somewhere!

Barr Engineering Complaint Before PUC Oct 4th


This Thursday, the PUC will be taking my the NoCapX 2020 Complaint against Barr Engineering of Conflict of Interest… again.


PUC staff recommendation is “no jurisdiction” and not action by PUC other than saying “no jurisdiction.”

PUC Staff Briefing Papers – October 4, 2012 Meeting

Here’s the filings on this — and no word from Barr Engineering on this, and they’re the respondent, together with Dept. of Commerce.  Not a peep from either of them.

Conflict of Interest Complaint Against Barr Engineering

Staff Briefing Papers for Barr Engineering Complaint, Sept 13, 2012 Meeting

Letter and Amended Complaint – September 10, 2012

image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace