Eminent domain issue reaches Ohio Supreme Court | Ohio

(The Center Square) – Landowners in Southern Ohio continue to receive support in their ongoing legal fight to stop the Ohio Power Company from taking land through eminent domain.

The Buckeye Institute, a Columbus-based political group, filed an amicus brief with the Ohio Supreme Court in support of the landowners, who opposed the power company’s plan to take ownership of the power lines.

“The framers of the Fifth Amendment and the framers of the Ohio Constitution both recognized that the appetite of government is vast, and nowhere is that appetite greater than when it comes to using a eminent domain,” said Jay R. Carson, senior attorney at The Buckeye Institute. “Fortunately, the courts have held that there are limits to eminent domain, and the Buckeye Institute urges the Ohio Supreme Court to affirm those limits and protect the property rights of Ohioans.”

The brief asks the court to use its power of judicial review to say that the permanent easements sought by Ohio Power are unnecessary.

Ohio’s Fourth Appellate District sided with the owners and Ohio Power filed its Notice of Appeal to the Supreme Court in September 2021, saying the case raises issues of public interest and general interest.

FirstEnergy Co., along with the Ohio Gas Association and other energy groups doing business in the state, have all filed briefs in support of Ohio Power. JobsOhio and government industry development groups across the state have all supported Ohio Power.

The Ohio Farm Bureau last week joined the landowners in a brief to uphold the appeals court’s decision.

“Given the power imbalance that typically occurs in appropriation cases, it is a rare opportunity to have these important issues before this Court for consideration. The Ohio Farm Bureau continues to advocate here and in the Legislature, to ensure that private citizens of Ohio are protected from the abuses and excesses that can plague situations of eminent domain,” the Farm Bureau brief stated.