A WV Lawyer Explains WV Eminent Domain Procedures


The link to the Berkeley County Farm Bureau no longer functions.  I have tried to secure a copy of the power point presentation so that I can permanently restore the link, but, after several phone calls, I have discovered that the presentation has been completely removed from the Internet.  I am very disappointed that we have lost an excellent resource forever.

I have also been informed that this presentation has been recommended to people interested in the Dominion interstate natural gas line project announced in 2014.  Charles Printz’s power point presentation is only about WV state eminent domain law, in particular as it relates to high voltage transmission lines.  I do not believe WV courts have any jurisdiction over anything related to interstate pipelines, which are entirely regulated at the federal level.  Natural gas transmission and high voltage electrical transmission have two very different historical regulatory regimes.  States retain control over siting of electrical transmission lines.  High pressure natural gas pipelines are almost entirely regulated by FERC.  If you are coming to this page looking for information on natural gas pipelines, you need to look elsewhere for accurate information.


Charles Printz, an attorney in Martinsburg, WV, gave a presentation to the Berkeley County, WV Farm Bureau last summer.  It is an excellent 20 minute lecture that explains what land owners can expect in the court process if power companies want your land for their power lines.

Land owners should understand that there is a very good chance that they will receive more in damages from going to court than they will if they accept the power companies’ offers.  You will need to hire an attorney and a real estate appraiser to make your case, but you will more than recover their fees.

If you go to court, you have the right to ask for a jury trial with a jury of 12 of landowners from your county.  Do not believe power company land agents when they try to scare you about the court process.  There is nothing to fear.

Here is a link to Mr. Printz’s presentation recorded at the Farm Bureau meeting along with his Power Point slides.