Court Grants NPT Motion for Summary Judgement

Forest Society disappointed, not surprised, anticipates next steps

Jack Savage | May 31, 2016

In November 2015 the Forest Society filed suit against Northern Pass in Coos County Superior Court over the private transmission project's plan to use the Washburn Family Forest to construct a section of the proposed transmission line. Northern Pass subsequently filed a motion for summary judgment, asking the court to dismiss the lawsuit. In February 2016, the Forest Society asked the Court to include the state Department of Transportation in that lawsuit.

In late May, the court granted Northern Pass's Motion for Summary Judgement.

“The Forest Society is disappointed but not entirely surprised by the Coos County Superior Court’s decision.  The decision effectively kicks the can down the road relative to the ultimate resolution of important property rights issues involving Northern Pass, the NH Dept. of Transportation, and private landowners. We note that the State Constitution expressly prohibits the use of the state’s power of eminent domain for elective transmission projects, and would have preferred not to wait for the DOT to potentially issue a license before resolving that constitutional conflict. We anticipate pursuing this case, and this issue, further.”

The Superior Court Decision can be appealed to the Supreme Court, among other options as the Forest Society pursues its strong belief that Northern Pass cannot build its proposed project on conserved land.

"We have a legal and ethical obligation to protect our conserved lands from private, commercial development," observed Jane Difley, president/forester of the Forest Society. 

Click here to read the full decision issued by the Coos County Superior Court.

Click here to read our lawsuit as filed Nov. 19, 2015 in Coos County Superior Court.

Click here to read our motion to join New Hampshire Department of Transportation in that lawsuit.