James Botsford: Sued by Enbridge for protecting North Dakota land — 4 Comments

  1. Followup:

    Hi all,
    Thought you might want to know that we have filed a Notice of Appeal with the North Dakota Supreme Court.
    Attached below are the Notice of Appeal and related court documents.

    We won some small but significant victories in the trial court, although we lost on the central issues…so far.

    The trial judge did these things in our favor:
    1. Ruled that if the Sandpiper pipeline isn’t built within five years Enbridge loses its easement on our land. That’s because this is a forcible taking through eminent domain so either use it or lose it.

    2. Ruled that only oil could be transported across the easement on our land. This means for example that Alberta Tar Sands could not be diverted into this proposed pipeline or through a new pipeline that Enbridge might want to put in the same easement because those tar sands don’t meet the North Dakota definition of “oil”.

    3. Enbridge was ordered by the court to pay $45,000 of our attorney fees. Our legal fees were $60,000 by that point.

    Enbridge however won on the big issue of whether or not their taking of our land was an abuse of the power of eminent domain. We believe it is a foreign corporation taking our private property for a private profit purpose. We wanted a jury to consider that question but the judge denied us that opportunity.

    We are appealing this and other aspects of the case.

    If you would like to discuss this you can reach me at Or you can contact our attorneys Derrick Braaten or JJ England at 701-221-2911.

    Thank you for your interest in these issues and our case. We would very much appreciate a copy of any articles you may write concerning this update of our case.
    James and Krista Botsford

    James Botsford

  2. Message I just received from James Botsford:

    “Today Enbridge abandoned their efforts to take our land. They threw in the towel one week before Oral arguments in the ND Supreme Court. They gave back their easement and agreed to pay our attorney fees.
    The case is over and we won.


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