Judge Issues Ruling from iPhone in Keystone XL Case

Lamar County Court-at-Law Judge Bill Harris fired off a fifteen-word email from his iPhone ruling that eminent domain laws gave TransCanada the right to lay pipeline through a Paris farm.
Wed August 29, 2012 6:59 pm
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Last week, a judge fired off an email from his iPhone that ruled eminent domain laws gave TransCanada the right to lay pipeline across a Paris farm.

The ruling issued by Lamar County Court-at-Law Judge Bill Harris declared that the pipeline qualifies as a "common carrier" under Texas law and so has eminent domain powers, the AP reported.

In a statement, Landowner Julia Trigg Crawford expressed her displeasure with both the substance of the ruling and that Harris "wholly dismissed our entire case with a 15-word ruling sent from his iPhone."

Crawford expounded on that thought in an interview with Kim Murphy of the Los Angeles Times Thursday:

This case has uncovered the craziness and the inequities that are in our current, rubber-stamp eminent domain process. What this means is that the lowest-level court has chosen to rule in TransCanada’s favor with a summary judgment, and I find it interesting that it was a 15-word ruling sent from his iPhone. We’ve been in court with thousands of pages of documents and testimony and witnesses and hearings, and it comes down to 15 words on an email form his phone.

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