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Supreme Court: New law trumps eminent domain case

 


HELENA — The Montana Supreme Court is backing a utility and the state Legislature in an eminent domain case surrounding a wind-power transmission line.

The case brought by landowners whose property lies in the path of the transmission line challenged whether utilities had the power to take private land.

A lower court ruled in the landowners' favor and the Montana Alberta Tie Limited appealed.

MATL asked the high court to send the case back to the district judge after lawmakers passed a retroactive law that ensures utilities have eminent domain.

The high court agreed Tuesday to remand the case.

MATL backers say they hope to negotiate a settlement with the landowners.

The plaintiffs' attorney says she looks forward to the district court re-analyzing the case.

 

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