712 F.2d 374 (8th Cir. 1983), 82-1614, Vikse v. Basin Elec. Power Co-op.

Docket Nº:82-1614.
Citation:712 F.2d 374
Party Name:Monrad VIKSE; Jacob Lang; Delano W. Lang; Elmer F. Lang; James M. Wieseler and Marietta L. Wieseler, husband and wife, Myron Wieseler and Joyce Wieseler, husband and wife; and Mathilda Wieseler, Appellants, v. BASIN ELECTRIC POWER COOPERATIVE, a North Dakota cooperative corporation; C.R. Thiessen; Clarence Welander; Dennis Lindberg; Marvin Beyers;
Case Date:July 25, 1983
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
 
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Page 374

712 F.2d 374 (8th Cir. 1983)

Monrad VIKSE; Jacob Lang; Delano W. Lang; Elmer F. Lang;

James M. Wieseler and Marietta L. Wieseler, husband and

wife, Myron Wieseler and Joyce Wieseler, husband and wife;

and Mathilda Wieseler, Appellants,

v.

BASIN ELECTRIC POWER COOPERATIVE, a North Dakota cooperative

corporation; C.R. Thiessen; Clarence Welander; Dennis

Lindberg; Marvin Beyers; George A. Hargens; J. William

Keller; Quentin Louden; Jim Frame and Fred W. Schmidt, Appellees.

No. 82-1614.

United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit

July 25, 1983

Submitted March 15, 1983.

Page 375

Jos. A. Vogel, Jr., Vogel Law Firm, Mandan, N.D., for appellants.

Malcolm H. Brown, Bair, Brown & Kautzmann, Mandan, N.D., for appellees.

Before LAY, Chief Judge, JOHN R. GIBSON, Circuit Judge, and ROBERTS, District Judge. [*]

JOHN R. GIBSON, Circuit Judge.

A group of South Dakota landowners brought this civil rights action under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 claiming that its members were denied equal protection of the laws because Basin Electric Power Cooperative and its officers made additional payments to landowners in North Dakota who, like appellants, had had their property condemned by the utility. We find no denial of equal protection and affirm the judgment of the district court 1 denying the claim.

Basin, a private generator of electricity located in North Dakota, planned to construct a transmission line from its Antelope Valley Station near Beulah, North Dakota, to Huron, South Dakota. It was necessary for Basin to obtain easements across the real estate in the path of the line. Basin was granted the power of eminent domain by both North Dakota and South Dakota.

Appellants are among the few South Dakota landowners who refused to settle with Basin. Appellants went to trial in condemnation

Page 376

cases for the easements, and judgments were obtained between October and December, 1979. These judgments are now final and have been paid. The claims of appellants Monrad Vikse, Jacob Lang, Delano W. Lang, and Elmer F. Lang were appealed to the Supreme Court of South Dakota. Basin Electric Power Cooperative v. Lang, 304 N.W.2d 715 (S.D.1981).

Basin acquired easements for 96% of the right-of-way in South Dakota by negotiation and settlement. Basin agreed with the settling landowners, either orally or in writing, that in the event it paid other landowners more per acre, outside of condemnation awards, it would pay additional amounts to these settling landowners so that all would be paid...

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