Imminent Domain Fight in Love Co

6-29-06 - A Love County man in the middle of a court battle with an electric company may have an edge in court. Joe Heim has posted signs along I-35 telling drivers of his fight with Farmers Electric Co-Op, but now a court precedent might help his case.

Last year, the company condemned his land based on imminent domain, allowing them to string electric lines across his property and to the south, which will provide power to the development in and around Winstar casino.

But a recent ruling in a situation similar to Joe's favored those on private property who opposed condemnation. A federal court said that economic development does not qualify as a public necessity, and those landowners have a right to block it.

Heim's case will be heard by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in September.