North Dakota farmer, Midcontinent Communications battle over land use

Note to Midcontinent Communications: if you're going to lay your cable on my land please let me know first, says North Dakota landowner Dale Neidhardt. The New Salem-based farmer, who has filed a federal lawsuit against South Dakota-based Midcontinent Communications Investors and Delaware-based TCI Midcontinent, is asking for unspecified damages for using his land to lay underground cable. What makes the suit even more complex is that it's a proposed class action, meaning that hundreds of other residents could also be seeking restitution.

According to the lawsuit, Midcontinent failed to get landowners' permission to lay underground cable on privately-owned property. "Midcontinent... should have known the state or political subdivisions had no ownership right in the land, and thus also should have entered into agreements with landowners for the use of their land," the lawsuit said.

Midcontinent is not the only service provider to scuffle with North Dakota landowners over cable placement. AT&T is in the process of settling a case with landowners east of Dickinson, N.D. who could be paid 75 cents per foot for 12 miles of cable laid in roadway ditches.   

For more:
- CED via AP has this article

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