Ohio maintains a specific statute which provides utility and governmental agencies the right to enter property to perform surveys and other appropriate investigations. This provision does not provide the right of eminent domain. Rather, the statute provides the governmental entity or utility company to enter the property simply to investigate what it is condemning and the effects of its proposed activity.
The statute also provides that should there be any damage created by the entry, payment will be made.
Clearly, there can be circumstances in which an entry is unreasonable. By example, one would not expect the utility or government to enter the property with heavy equipment just subsequent to the planting or just prior to harvest if the proposed acquiring agency knew the entry would be required for an extended period of time. However, so long as the agency is acting reasonably and fairly, the entry is best successful and least damages if appropriately facilitated by the property owner.
Woods said the action brought against the Hydes was "simply an action to allow access to property for survey work" as the company attempts to determine what is the best pipeline route.
The judge told Hyde that any damaged incurred would be the responsibility of the pipeline company.
Both Woods and Hyde said that now the land survey is complete, negotiations could begin on a price for the pipeline easement. However, eminent domain would apply to this pipeline, if negotiations can’t be completed.