Site A. Landowners Motion To Intervene Denied

Legal documents were filed in Mahaska County District Court by Pella and Oskaloosa to force Mahaska County to once again participate in the 28E agreement for a regional airport.

Legal documents were filed in Mahaska County District Court by Pella and Oskaloosa to force Mahaska County to once again participate in the 28E agreement for a regional airport. (file photo)

Oskaloosa, Iowa- There has been a motion by Site A. Landowners to intervene in the lawsuit, between the cities of Pella and Oskaloosa and Mahaska County, into the validity of the 28E agreement for a regional airport.

Mahaska County’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit was denied by Judge Lucy Gamon on December 8, 2017.

On January 4, 2018 Site A. Landowners filed a motion to intervene as Defendant and join Mahaska County in the lawsuit, with the two cities of Pella and Oskaloosa filing their resistance on January 11, 2018.

Court documents state the following:

“The question before the court was if a group of private landowners have the right to intervene in a breach of contract and request for declaratory judgment regarding a 28E agreement between two municipalities and a county? The proposed interveners own land on or near the proposed site for the South Central Regional Airport. No private person has privity of contract to the 28E agreement at issue in this litigation. If Mahaska County remains in the 28E agreement, then the private landowners may be subject to condemnation. If the 28E agreement does not include Mahaska County, then the prospect of condemnation is significantly less likely.”

“Site A. Landowners argument was that the court should allow them to join to help eliminate the need for separate litigation and promote efficiency.”

“Mahaska County agrees with the Site A. Landowners, while the two cities, or the plaintiffs, argued that if Site A. Landowners are allowed to intervene, then the F.A.A. and the S.C.R.A.A would seek to join this litigation and bog this case down with years of discovery. The Court is not convinced this parade of horribles prediction will become a reality, but certainly adding Site A. Landowners to the narrow litigation would add cost and complication.”

“It is clear to the Court that private landowners affected by this 28E agreement have more at stake in their own land than concerned citizens do in other individuals’ civil unions. This is not a situation where a party wishes to intervene simply to voice their opinion on an issue. Currently, it is very speculative to pinpoint the legal right Site A. Landowners are asserting without knowing the result of this action.”

“This is a close call, but the Court finds that intervention as a matter of right does not apply under these circumstances. Clearly, if Plaintiffs are successful in this current action, the members of Site A. Landowners could be subject to condemnation proceedings. Jack Rempe testified that his family was not going to sell the land he farms on or near the proposed airport site if the airport is constructed.”

“Intervention is not a discouraged practice, but the Court is not convinced that individuals who are not party to contract should be able to intervene because their interests could possibly be affected. Contingent interests based on the outcome of a case are not legally sufficient to support intervention as a matter of right.”

“The Court also finds that allowing intervention at this juncture would not “reduce litigation and expeditiously determine matters before the court.” Permission intervention is not appropriate because the intervention will unduly delay the adjudication of rights of the Plaintiffs. Site A. Landowners desire for Mahaska County to be removed of its 28E agreement and obligations. Mahaska County is in adequate position to argue this position without intervention of another party. Intervention is premature and not appropriate at this juncture.”

The Court Judgement was handed down stating;
1. Site A. Landowner’s Motion to Intervene is DENIED.
2. Pending motions concerning Plaintiffs and Defendant remain set for June 12, 2018, at 9:00 am, in the Mahaska County Courthouse, Oskaloosa, Iowa.
3. Site A. Landowners are assessed the Court costs of this hearing.

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Posted by on Apr 15 2018. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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