We received a call on Saturday, the first day people along the path of the MVP began receiving certified letters for surveying, asking when would be the appropriate time for landowners to seek legal representation. I contacted Joe Sherman at Waldo & Lyle, PC . Mr. Sherman told me that if you wish to prevent MVP surveyors from entering your property, now is the best time to obtain legal counsel. If you are their client, they will send a certified letter to MVP notifying them, on your behalf, that you will not allow MVP representatives to enter your property without a court order. When the Notice of Intent Letter is sent from MVP (the 2nd phase under Virginia Code Section 56-49.01), they will send a second certified letter again stating the same thing. If MVP is forced to use a court order to obtain access to your property, this will compel the company to use the legal system which will then create a challenge to the constitutionality of the current state statute. The attorneys at Waldo & Lyle believe that the law permitting the gas companies to survey your property is unconstitutional given (1) the ballot initiative that Virginia voters overwhelmingly approved in 2012 which placed firm restrictions on eminent domain and (2) the fact that these companies are trying to pick and choose between federal and state laws depending on what is most convenient/expedient for them.
Waldo & Lyle will represent, pro bono, any landowner who has received a certified letter from MVP and does not wish to permit surveying. Joe Sherman asked me to let you know that he is happy to talk with any and all of you who want to know more about this process. You can contact Mr. Sherman at 757-622-5812 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Property rights is the firm’s area of expertise and they will talk to you free of charge so you have nothing to lose by contacting them to determine the best course of action for you and your family.
Obviously it is your choice as a landowner if you wish to be represented by legal counsel and your decision as to whom you wish to represent you. We strongly encourage you, however, to investigate obtaining legal representation in order to protect your personal interests.