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On March 4, 2015 the Supreme Court issued a ruling stating that utility companies must purchase a property in whole for fair market value if it constructs a 200KV or larger power line, and the line crosses any contiguous and commercially viable land. Quinlivan & Hughes’ attorney Michael Rajkowski and Rachael Holthaus successfully argued on behalf of the clients Dale and Janet Tauer, who are owners of agricultural land that was slated to have a 200KV CAPX 2020 power line constructed across their property.

The utility, Great River Energy, argued that it should only have to compensate the Tauers for the easement needed to construct the power line, and no more. Rajkowski and Holthaus successfully argued that Great River Energy must purchase the property as a whole as elected by the Tauers. The Tauers made this election pursuant to Minnesota law, which seeks to protect agricultural landowners from utility companies that take their property for the use and construction of power lines.

“This is a big win for landowners”, said Rajkowski. “No longer will they have to worry about a power line decimating the value of their property.”