David Yates Apr. 25, 2013, 12:56pm

An appeal centered on a foreign company’s petition to condemn land in Jefferson County for the construction of a crude oil pipeline has been dismissed. 

TransCanada Keystone Pipeline is seeking to build a pipeline to carry crude from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast.

The real parties in interest in the appeal were Mickey Pheland B Land LP, Mary Ann Edson and K.H. Pheland Land.

On April 25 justices issued a memorandum opinion dismissing TransCanada’s petition for mandamus, court records show.

“Relator, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline, LP, filed a petition for writ of mandamus. The real parties in interest filed a response,” states the opinion.

“Before oral argument, the parties notified the Court that the case settled. On April 18, 2013, relator withdrew its request for mandamus relief. Accordingly, we dismiss this original proceeding without reference to the merits.”

This is not the only appeal featuring TransCanada before justices.

In June 2011, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline filed the petition for condemnation against Texas Rice Land Partners, James and David Holland and Mike and Walter Latta.

On Sept. 24 Judge Tom Rugg, who was presiding over the Jefferson County Court at Law No. 1 at that time, ruled that the company has the right to seize land in Jefferson County for the pipeline.

In its appeal, Texas Rice Land Partners argues that the “trial court abused its discretion by refusing to require TransCanada to establish its authority as a common carrier before granting TransCanada possession of Texas rice property.”

Conversely, TransCanada argues in court papers that the pipeline is a common carrier pipeline available for public use and that the foreign company is a common carrier.

During a Sept. 12 hearing, Terry Wood, the attorney for the rice farmers, attempted to link the TransCanda case to a ruling made by the Texas Supreme Court in August 2011 denying Denbury Green common carrier status in a pipeline project of its own.

The Denbury pipeline, however, would carry CO2, not crude oil.

TransCanada is represented in part by Thomas Zabel, attorney for the Houston law firm Zabel Freeman.

Appeals case No. 09-12-00496

Jefferson County Court at Law No. 1 case No. 119243

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