Judge Rules That TVA May Proceed With Eminent Domain On Greg Vital Farm

Friday, January 11, 2019

Federal Judge Sandy Mattice has ruled that TVA may proceed with eminent domain at the Greg Vital farm in Meigs County.

TVA is planning to run a high-voltage power line across the farm and several nearby properties to a planned new $300 million power operations center.

Mr. Vital had asked the judge to reconsider his earlier order granting TVA the right to go on the farm to begin planning the route of the line.

Judge Mattice said Mr. Vital had not shown "an undue hardship" relating to the taking of the land.

He said, "Federal eminent domain has become a settled, if not routine, (and certainly not popular) feature of American life."

Mr. Vital said, "Judge Mattice hits the nail on the head when he says he understands the consternation of the property owners in Georgetown because TVA's abuse of its power is behavior that is 'very familiar to this court.' What he is saying is that TVA has a long history of running over people to take their land, all backed by federal law. That is the behavior I have seen for the past six months. It's David vs. Goliath, and Goliath looks like the federal government. Property rights should mean more than that."

The other property owners also joined in the lawsuit.


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