On January 13, 2016, Illinois State Senator Kyle McCarter[1] called on state and federal courts to reject any requests from Clean Line Energy Partners for eminent domain authority regarding the Grain Belt Express Clean Line project. The project, being backed by the Clean Line Energy Partners, plans to create transmission lines to deliver wind energy across the Midwest from western Kansas. The project proposes the inclusion of private landowners in Illinois, which has recently raised concerns from advocates of landowners’ rights.

Senator McCarter expressed his concerns about potential eminent domain actions and the involvement of the Illinois Commerce Commission in the projects. He said the ICC should reconsider its decision to give the project a designation as a “public convenience and a necessity,” specifically calling out potential threats to private landowners.

Senator McCarter’s concerns are included in a Senate resolution filed on January 13, 2016.

Senator McCarter fought a similar battle last year when he supported Senate Bill 1726, which required the ICC to notify landowners in a path of proposed transmission line via registered mail. That bill took effect last summer.

Illinois Eminent Domain

In the state of Illinois, eminent domain[2] is described as the inherent power of a state to take or damage private property for a public use, subject to the constitutional limitation that, “Private property shall not be taken or damaged for public use without just compensation as provided by law.” Ill. Const. Art. 1, §15 (1970). Illinois has, by legislation, delegated similar powers to governmental units, public bodies and public service corporations. If you are an Illinois landowner and have received a condemnation notice, it is imperative to speak to an Illinois eminent domain attorney as soon as possible.

Contact an Illinois Eminent Domain Attorney for Assistance

The laws concerning eminent domain can be difficult to understand. If you receive a condemnation notice, determining the amount of compensation to which you are entitled can be complex and the skilled Illinois condemnation attorneys at the law office of Sever Storey, LLP can assist you. Please call today at 888-318-3761 for help.