Battle over pipeline protest headed to federal court next week

By  | 

ROANOKE CO., Va. (WDBJ7) The Mountain Valley Pipeline is asking a federal judge to hold members of the Terry family in contempt of court, as two tree-sitters continue their protests on Bent Mountain.

A hearing is scheduled next week in Roanoke federal court.

In a recent statement, MVP said the individuals who are obstructing construction activities are in clear violation of court orders. A spokesperson said it's unfortunate the company has had to take additional steps to enforce existing injunctions.

Justin Lugar is one of the attorneys who represents Red Terry.

"Our position is we're not in violation of the court order," Lugar told WDBJ7 on Friday afternoon, "and we look forward to having the court hear that."

And Lugar said it's important to recognize that constitutional questions are at the root of this dispute.

"The idea or the notion that a private company can obtain the power of the federal government to condemn property for a private use, and for a private gain is fundamentally at odds with our constitutional rights," he said.

A federal judge in Roanoke will hear the contempt motion on Tuesday, and the constitutional challenge is headed to a federal appeals court in Richmond the week after that.