You can help prevent this happening to you or your neighbors. Sabal Trail will use this to intimidate anyone who opposes them, just like they’ve been using previous court cases to scare people all along. Fortunately, the Bells have already provided a way everyone can help and thereby demonstrate we the people do not want Sabal Trail. The Bell brothers have set up a gofundme campaign. If you can’t contribute, you can help publicize it.
In the same case that people travelled to Leesburg, GA to attend twice, from Dougherty County and Lowndes County, GA and from places in Florida as far south as the Everglades, the Bell Brothers lost both their defense against Sabal Trail’s eminent domain lawsuit and their countersuit for criminal trespass. Adding insult and expense to injury, the judge also ruled they have to pay back Sabal Trail’s attorney fees, to the tune of $47,000, a ridiculous amount, almost ten times what the Bells paid in their own legal fees. Melissa Hodges, WALB Albany, GA and KMOV, St. Louis, Missouri, 18 August 2016, Mitchell Co. brothers to pay $47K in legal fees to Sabal Trail
It was a two and a half hour hearing over legal fees.
The judgment from Southwestern Judicial Circuit Superior Court Judge Rucker Smith, however, was immediate.
“I don’t understand why a billion dollar company doing a two to three billion dollar project needs $47,000? From average, ordinary, tax paying citizens who are doing nothing more than defending their rights as they see it,” said James Bell.
The Bell brothers said they were defending themselves for the future.
Here’s the text on the front page of the gofundme campaign, Bell Brothers Vs Sabal Trail Fees. Follow the link to contribute.
Hello Ladies and Gentleman,
Thank you for stopping by and looking at this.
This page has been set up in attempt to help my brother and I fight an incredible injustice in our eyes. The injustice is that 2 average American citizens are now forced to pay the legal fees of a multi-billion dollar company in the amount of over $47,000.00.
The funds will be used solely to pay these fees. We have 30 days to raise the money.
Over the last two years, we have been fighting within the law to keep Sabal Trail pipeline off of our land. This is 36 inch pipeline that will only be 3 ft under the ground and it will take 1.3 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day from Alabama down through Georgia into Florida. That amounts to 474.5 billion cubic feet each year.
They will be going under Chattahooche River and Flint River and in my opinion there is the potential for catastrophic harm to the environment of my beloved southwest Georgia as well as northern Florida.
Our mother bought us this land about 30 years ago right after she successfully battled bone cancer. It was her wish for us to always have it and to be able to build homes on it. Well, that will now never be the case.
This is a for profit company ran by Spectra Energy. They do not need the $47,000. I feel they want to make an example of my brother and I. I can almost guarantee they will be using this ruling, to intimidate anyone else who dares stand against them.
I hate that I am here having asking for help, but we don’t have many options. We simply do not have the money to pay these outrageous fees.
Any donations at all would be just incredible!
Thank you from the bottom of our heart and God Bless!!! Help spread the word!