United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Oxford Division
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA upon the relation and for the use of the TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY PLAINTIFF
AN EASEMENT AND RIGHT-OF-WAY OVER 0.24 ACRE OF LAND, MORE OR LESS, IN TALLAHATCHIE COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, et al DEFENDANTS
ORDER AND MEMORANDUM OPINION
SHARION AYCOCK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Valley Authority (“TVA”) filed its Complaint 
on August 2, 2018, to acquire a permanent easement and
right-of-way across a 19-acre parcel located in Tallahatchie
County, Mississippi. Subsequently, pro se Defendants
Ora Johnson, Beulah Washington, and Jerlean Hawkins filed an
Answer and Counterclaim  claiming an interest in the
parcel, objecting to the condemnation and taking of the
property, and contesting compensation. Presently before the
Court is TVA's Motion to Enter Judgment on the Pleadings
or Motion to Strike Defendants' Objection and
Counterclaims  and TVA's Motion for Summary Judgment
on the Issue of Just Compensation . The issues are fully
briefed and ripe for review.
and Procedural Background
2014, TVA announced a new transmission line to be built in
Tallahatchie County, Mississippi. One of the properties the
new transmission line will cross is a 19-acre parcel. This
lawsuit involves the taking of a 0.24-acre easement across
the 19-acre parcel for the new transmission line.
August 2018, TVA filed its Complaint , Declaration of
Taking , and Notice of Condemnation  pursuant to the
TVA Act and Taking Act, to acquire a permanent easement and
right-of-way across the 19-acre parcel. After reviewing two
appraisal reports valuing the easement at $625 and $650, Ivan
J. Antal, II, (TVA's Manager of Real Property
Transactions) determined that the fair market value for the
easement and right-of-way taken was $700. See
deposited this $700 with the Court and the Clerk of the Court
noted on the docket the Court's receipt of the deposit.
of the parcel is uncertain because of multiple generations of
intestate succession, so multiple persons and heirs (known
and unknown) were served by personal service or publication.
See Notices [4, 7, 10]. After service by
publication, four individuals filed a response claiming
interest in the parcel.
se Defendants Ora Johnson, Beulah Washington, and
Jerlean Hawkins filed an Answer and Counterclaim  where
they collectively claimed a 45% interest in the parcel,
objected to the condemnation and taking of the property, and
contested compensation. Defendants claimed to be the heirs of
John Raybon, James Raybon, and Willie Raybon, who were listed
in TVA's Complaint  as persons who have or may claim
an interest in the property.
fourth Defendant, Johnny D. Harper, filed a Motion 
seeking relief from the expert disclosure deadline. His
attorney William Kellum later made an appearance, but neither
Harper or Kellum made expert disclosures before the amended
April 1, 2019 deadline and neither has made any such
disclosure as of this date. See Notice of Appearance
requests that the Court grant its Motion  to Enter
Judgment on the Pleadings or in the alternative, to Strike
Defendants' Objection and Counterclaims. TVA also
requests that the Court grant its Motion  for Summary
Judgment on the Issue of Just Compensation.
Rule 12(c), “After the pleadings are closed-but early
enough not to delay trial-a party may move for judgment on
the pleadings.” Fed R. Civ. P. Rule 12(c). This motion
is designed to “dispose of cases where material facts
are not in dispute and judgment on the merits can be rendered
by looking to the substance of the pleadings and any
judicially noted facts.” Williams v. Jenkins,
No. 3:08-CV-69, 2009 WL 1323008, at *1 (N.D. Miss. May 12,
2009); Herbert Abstract Co., Inc. v. Touchstone
Properties, Ltd., 914 F.2d 74, 76 (5th Cir. 1990).
Granting a motion for judgment on the pleadings is
“appropriate only if material facts are not in dispute
and questions of law are all that remain.”
Williams, 2009 WL 1323008, at *1; Voest-Alpine
Trading USA Corp. v. Bank of China, 142 F.3d 887, 891
(5th Cir. 1998).
a motion to strike, Rule 12(f) states that “The court
may strike from a pleading an insufficient defense or any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter. The
court may act: (1) on its own; or (2) on motion made by a
party . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. Rule 12(f).
Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “The
court shall grant summary judgment if the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” In
other words, “summary judgment is proper only when the
record demonstrates that no genuine issue of material fact
exists and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of
law.” Luv N' Care Ltd. v. Groupo Rimar,
844 F.3d 442, 447 (5th Cir. 2016). The movant bears the
burden of informing the court of the basis for the motion and
demonstrating the absence of a genuine issue of material
fact. Nola Spice Designs, L.L.C. v. Haydel Enters.,
Inc., 783 F.3d 527, 536 (5th Cir. 2015).
Whether Defendants' Objection and Counterclaims are
Defendant's Objection and Counterclaims.
se Defendants Ora Johnson, Beulah Washington, and
Jerlean Hawkins filed the following objection and
1. [TVA] is not lawfully entitled to take the defendant's
property for the purpose described in the complaint due to .
. . Section 306(b) failure to purchase property [in] its
[entirety] with fair and just price prior to the
[commencement] of [condemnation] action with good faith
3. Defendant request[s] the court to Order [TVA] to make a
just and fair offer to purchase the entire property in good
faith for said property so Defendant may present offer to
other heirs of family owned property prior to the
commencement of condemnation of said Property .
4. Defendant request the Court if upon not obtaining said
Order within paragraph 3 then, [TVA] shall make a good faith
just and fair offer for the partial part that Plaintiff wants
to add permanent easement and right-[of]-way on said Property
5. Defendant request[s] the Court for a jury trial for a fair
and just cost of said partial part of said Property .
Federal Condemnation Law is Governed by the TVA Act, the
Taking Act, and Rule 71.1.
Defendants contest the taking of the 0.24-acre of the parcel
by citing “Section 306(b)” in their Answer .
It is unclear what this law is. TVA argues that this case is
governed by the TVA ...