Judge moves Nacogdoches Co. pipeline case to higher court

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - A hunch of defeat didn't stop the tenacious Mike Bishop.

"I already knew the judge was not going to rule on the jurisdiction in my favor," Bishop said. "I knew that going in there."

County Court-at-Law Judge Jack Sinz ruled by law the county court-at-law just can't hear any arguments pertaining to easement issues. Specifically, the portion of Bishop's 20 acres already obtained by TransCanada through a settlement with Bishop.

"What we all heard the judge say was pretty straight forward, was that as he suspected and as we argued in our plea of jurisdiction that this court is not to hear Mr. Bishop's case," company spokesman David Dodson said.

"If he can't talk about easements how can he take me to condemnation court two years ago and get the easement against me?" Bishop said.

It's an easement TransCanada says was mutually negotiated with Bishop in a settlement case that included TransCanada settling a loan on the property.

"We bought it for Mr Bishop and yes we discussed it with him and part of the settlement agreement we bought the land," Dodson said.

Bishop wants a jury to hear his argument that the settlement was a matter of fraud accompanied by threats of losing his land.

"If I don't settle, they're going to foreclose on me, whether it's legal or not it's coercion and it put me under extreme duress," Bishop said.

TransCanada disagrees. Will the arguments continue? Probably so.

"I'm filing an appeal immediately," Bishop said.

Will the pipeline work continue on Bishop's property?

"The whole project will be finished by the end of this year and that's the 485 miles from Oklahoma to Texas," Dodson said.

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