Transcontinental Gas Pipe Line Co., LLC v. Cochran, No. 16-17503 (11th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
A district court may, in appropriate circumstances, issue a preliminary injunction granting a pipeline company immediate access to property that it has an established right to condemn under the Natural Gas Act. Transcontinental filed consolidated condemnation proceedings against property owners in order to obtain an easement for the construction of a natural gas pipeline. The Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for Transcontinental on the issue of whether it had a right to condemn certain portions of defendants' properties under Section 7(h) of the Natural Gas Act. The court held that the district court did not err in concluding that there was no genuine issue of material fact as to whether Transcontinental held a valid certificate of public convenience and necessity; the property to be condemned was necessary for the natural-gas pipeline authorized by the certificate; and Transcontinental could not acquire the necessary easements by contract.
The court also affirmed the district court's issuance of a preliminary injunction allowing Transcontinental to immediately enter defendants' properties and begin construction. The court held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in requiring Transcontinental to post a surety bond rather than a cash deposit.