Joint Landowners' Coalition NYS Complaint.pdf

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The JLCNY complaint contains several legal theories: takings claims are brought under the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, § 7 of the New York State Constitution. In addition, the complaint alleges that the State has imposed an illegal moratorium, has failed to comply with the provisions of SEQRA, has deprived landowners of rights with relief requested under 42 USC § 1983 and has violated substantive and procedural due process under the 14th Amendment. The complaint also seeks to compel the State to complete the SGEIS in a declaratory judgment action and Article 78 mandamus... The action is awaiting filing.
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  ! STATE OF NEW YORK SUPREME COURT: COUNTY OF ALBANY  _________________________________________ PLAINTIFF “A” - PLAINTIFF “E ”,  COMPLAINT/PETITION Plaintiffs/Petitioners, vs. Index No.: THE STATE OF NEW YORK, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION, JOSEPH MARTENS, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, THE  NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH and NIRAV SHAH, Commissioner of the New York State Department of Health, Defendants/Respondents.  _________________________________________ Plaintiffs/  petitioners (“plaintiffs”) , by and through their attorneys, complaining of the defendants/ respondents (“defendants”) , herein state as follows: PRELIMINARY STATEMENT 1.   Plaintiffs bring this hybrid action and proceeding to obtain monetary damages and/or mandamus and/or injunctive relief for damages suffered by plaintiffs as a result of: 1) defendants’ actions which have effected a “taking” of plaintiffs’ property interests  thereby depriving plaintiffs of certain property rights protected by the United States Constitution and the Constitution of the State of New York, and 2) the enactment by defendants of a Moratorium on the issuance of well drilling permits utilizing high volume hydraulic fracturing, a technique commonly used throughout the country to develop thousands of natural gas wells in deep shale formations.  # 2.   The Marcellus shale formation is estimated to contain some 500 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and covers a large area, some 54,000 square miles in the main states of New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. 3.   Beginning in 2008, natural gas drilling companies such as Fortuna Energy (now Talisman Energy), Chesapeake Energy, Hess Corporation and Nornew, Inc. (“Nornew”) (now known as Norse Energy Corp. USA (“Norse”)) evidenced great interest in drilling for natural gas in the Southern Tier of New York causing an oil and gas leasing frenzy with natural gas drilling companies paying some landowners as much as $5,000 per acre for nothing more than signing an oil and gas lease. 4.   On July 21, 2008, The State of New York brought an end to virtually all of the leasing activity and development when it imposed a Moratorium on the issuance of well drilling  permits utilizing high volume hydraulic fracturing (“HVHF”) that by its terms would run to some indeterminate future time when the Department of Environmental Conservation of the State of  New York (“DEC”) issued a Supplemental Generic Environmental Impact Statement (“SGEIS”) addressing the environmental effects of HVHF. 5.   Other states including Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Illinois and California which are rich in oil and gas resources completed their studies and adopted regulations and laws  pertaining to HVHF in just eight to twenty-four months and no state with oil and gas resources has ever issued a moratorium on HVHF. 6.   Though the SGEIS process for HVHF began in New York in 2008, it has yet to be completed and has become exclusively a political issue with no discernible end in sight. From July 21, 2008 through today, the apparently indeterminable SGEIS process has rendered the  $  plaintiffs ’  property and the natural gas trapped below the surface, unable to be developed and unmarketable. 7.   HVHF is the only commercially viable method of extracting natural gas from  beneath plaintiffs’ land and without the ability to use HVHF the plaintiffs’ natural gas is valueless. 8.   As more fully alleged herein, the conduct of defendants in imposing and  perpetuating a Moratorium on the only commercially viable method to extract natural gas from the  plaintiffs’ properties   effectuates an unconstitutional taking of plaintiffs’ property interests and, alternatively, is an invalid exercise of the police power of the State of New York.  THE PARTIES PLAINTIFFS “A”   9.   At all times hereinafter mentioned, plaintiff ______________was and is a resident of the County of Broome and State of New York. 10.   At all times hereinafter mentioned, plaintiff_____________ is a resident of the State of Pennsylvania. 11.   At all times hereinafter mentioned, plaintiff ____________ is a resident of the County of Broome and State of New York. 12.   At all times hereinafter mentioned, plaintiff ____________ is a resident of the State of Connecticut. 13.   Plaintiffs__________________________________________________________  _________________ are he reinafter collectively referred to as the “  _______ P laintiffs”.  14.   Prior to November 2, 2012, ________ Plaintiffs were the owners in fee simple absolute of certain real property located in the Town of Fenton, County of Broome and State of  %  New York, comprising approximately 70 acres, which property is more particularly described in a deed dated ____________ and recorded in the Broome County Clerk’s office on  ____________, 1997 in Book ____ of Deeds at Page ___, a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit “ A ”  (the “  __________ Premises”) . 15.   By deed dated __________, 2012, ___________ conveyed 25% interest in and to the ________ Premises to Plaintiffs ______________________. 16.   The __________Premises is landlocked and at all times relevant herein the  _________ Plaintiffs have and/or had no surface access to, or upon, the property. 17.   The highest and best use of the _________ Premises is for oil and gas development and the property has been leased by the __________ Plaintiffs, or their  predecessor(s) in interest to various oil and gas operators over past years. 18.   On or about _______, 2007, plaintiff ____________ entered into an oil and gas lease with Chesapeake Appalachia, LLC (“Chesapeake”) , which lease was recorded in the Broome County Clerk’s Office on  ___________, 2007 at Book ____ of Deeds at Page __, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit “ B ”  19.   Said lease had a five year primary term commencing on __________, 2007, with a three year option permitting the lessee to extend the lease for an additional three year period, which option was exercised by the lessee by the filing of a Notice of Extension of Oil and Gas Lease by Chesapeake in the Broome County Clerk’s Office on _____, 2013 in Book ____ of Deeds at Page ___. 20.   On or about ______, 2007, an oil and gas lease was entered into with Chesapeake, which lease was recorded in the Broome County Clerk’s Office on  ___________, 2007 at Book  ____ of Deeds at Page ___, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit “ C ”.
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