Home Energy and Environment WSET Reporter Live Blog of Mountain Valley Pipeline vs. the Terry Family...

WSET Reporter Live Blog of Mountain Valley Pipeline vs. the Terry Family Court Hearing


The following is from WSET reporter Annie Anderson’s Twitter feed, “live tweeting the hearing for vs. the Terry family in regard to ” (note that the Judge is Elizabeth Dillon of the U.S. District Court, Western District of Virginia; also note, “For ref., the major people in today’s hearing are Wade Massie, the attorney for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Tom Bondurant, the attorney for the Terrys, John Coles Terry III, the property owner, Theresa ‘Red’ Terry & Theresa Minor Terry who are both in tree-stands on their property”)

  • (6:17 pm): “No decision today, but Judge Dillon says she will try to issue a ruling as soon as she can.”
  • (6:16 pm): “Bondurant: Words matter.”
  • (6:15 pm): “Bondurant back up. Says he doesn’t want to read the whole transcript again, but testimony will show MVP testified 75 miles at previous hearing.”
  • (6:14 pm): “Massie says ‘What the most amazing part of this whole argument from council is the remedy.’ Meaning, since people thought the order had been violated, they went up in a tree to fix it. Massie says he can’t tell if Bondurant is arguing if the order is valid or not.”
  • (6:13 pm): “Massie saying record will show that there were up to 75 more miles that could have potential bat restrictions Says record will show MVP testified about 16-25 miles already had known bat restrictions. Says witness testified that at worst there were 75 more miles w bat restrictions”
  • (6:12 pm): “Massie: We stand by every answer in that transcript. Says there was no testimony that MVP needed to fell all trees by March 31. Says Judge Dillon can look at the record.”
  • (6:10 pm): “Bondurant saying MVP should have come back and told Judge Dillon if something on the order has changed. Bondurant asking MVP to be held in contempt and they should stay tree cutting until Dillon gets to the bottom of everything. Wants to know why the March 31 info was changed”
  • (6:07 pm): “Bondurant: Even if MVP is correct, Red and Minor went up the tree. Says both are strong women. Says Coles was simply trying to make the tree house safer and being a loving husband and father should not be a contemptible charge.
  • (6:05 pm): “As for March 31, Bondurant now talking to Judge Dillon about why that date was confusing. In certain areas, there was a March 31 deadline, but in other areas there isn’t that deadline. According to FERC, MVP has until May 31 to fell trees.”
  • (5:59 pm): “Now talking about the March 31 date. As Terry testified, he thought tree felling had to be done by March 31. Bondurant now reading docs that led Terry to believe March 31 was the end date for tree felling.”
  • (5:55 pm): “Now hearing arguments from Bondurant.”
  • (5:54 pm): “Massie now saying Judge Dillon has the opportunity for Marshal services as well, and says ‘at some point that may have to be invoked.'”
  • (5:54 pm): “Massie: ‘We are not here to be compensated so much as to end the violations.'”
  • (5:54 pm): “Massie says if Coles Terry is found in contempt there should be an element to bring it to an end in the form of a coercive fine. Wants the fine levied daily until the situation stops.”
  • (5:54 pm): “Judge Dillon now asking what Massie wants when it comes to Coles Terry. Says she knows Massie wants Red and Minor down from the tree.”
  • (5:52 pm): “Massie saying they didn’t want it to come to this, but it has and with Red and Minor being supplied food and water by Roanoke County Police, this could go on for quite some time and it’s keeping their work from proceeding.
  • (5:52 pm): “Says Terry went beyond, saying he supplied a ladder as well as food and water to the ‘violators of this courts injunction’.”
  • (5:51 pm): “Massie now saying Coles Terry is in violation because he is the owner. Saying he can’t say ‘I can’t control my wife or my daughter and they went up in the tree.'”
  • (5:50 pm): “Massie saying Red and Minor’s goal was to violate the order. Says they want a place and platform to submit their views to anybody who will listen, including politicians and media.”
  • (5:48 pm): “Says their goal is that the order that was granted is upheld. Says Judge Dillon did not limit them in any way to dates for the tree clearing. Says in statements made in evidence and on video, nobody was talking about tree felling deadline, statements about stopping pipeline”
  • “4) MVP has suffered harm and they have attempted to prove that point. They ask that harm be compensated. Was not their intent to come to court and seek those damages, but they now have to.”
  • “For point 3) While landowners have residual right, that doesn’t make the order in their favor.”
  • “For point 2) the orders are in MVP’s favor.”
  • (5:48 pm): “Massie going over points. For point one, there is a valid order right now and the Terry’s knew about it.”
  • (5:43 pm): “Hearing arguments from counsel now.”
  • (5:31 pm): “Judge Dillon is calling another little break before calling evidence of counsel. Will be back in 10 minutes.”
  • (5:30 pm): “Dillon said attorneys don’t need to read transcripts, says she is ‘very, very familiar with this case.'”
  • (5:29 pm): “They are still talking about different kinds of harm. Bondurant says the Terrys thought the apple farm would be chopped down in November, after the apples could be harvested. Dillon wants to know if there are specific types of harm, says Bondurant needs to be specific”
  • (5:26 pm): “Bondurant asking to be able to recall witnesses about harm to the Terry family if it comes to that. Wants to present additional evidence as to financial, emotional and mental harm if need be.”
  • (5:23 pm): “Terry says MVP took out an old apple orchard Red has been trying to save. Red had put in time and effort over the past few years trying to bring the trees back to life.”
  • (5:23 pm): “Terry says since his wife and daughter have been in a tree he is constantly worried about them.”
  • (5:23 pm): “Bondurant says Terry is the only witness he has.”
  • (5:22 pm): “Terry was released from the stand but then Bonduant recalled him before he could sit down. Smiling, Judge Dillon said ‘it’s kind of like the 5-second rule.'”
  • (5:20 pm): “Terry says he came home from work and the two women were talking about it. He never told them no. Terry says he didn’t think they were really going to do it. Now, when he goes to see them he doesn’t tell them to come down. He says he says good job because he’s supporting them.”
  • (5:19 pm): “MVP now asking for specific names for who helped build it. Terry testifies it was John Johnson, Jonathan Irvine, both his sons, multitude of people. Terry says the only advice he gave was to his son Coles to build a lag pole.”
  • (5:18 pm): “Terry says friends of his wife and daughter made the tree stand. Says he believes his wife and daughter helped, but he did not make them. When asked who built them, he says ‘couple of friends.'”
  • (5:17 pm) “Terry now being cross examined by MVP.”
  • “Gentry Lock is representing the Terrys pro-bono. That decision came after the contempt charge.”
  • “Terry testifies the Red and Minor are both very strong women and they aren’t the type of women that he can boss around and tell what to do. He testified that he told them he would support them whatever their decision (stay in the tree or come down)”
  • “Terry testifies that nobody on his side called police. Says from 4/3-4/12 Terry provided food and water to Red and Minor. On 4/12 police put up the police tape, keeping Terry from providing food and water. @ABC13News”
  • (5:07 pm): “Red told her husband she was going to ‘Save her trees.'”
  • “Terry now talking about how Red got the idea for her tree-sit. Says she saw the tree sits on Peters Mountain and Red said if they can do it, so can she. Minor then said, if her mom can do it, so can she.”
  • “Coles says he believes they were asking for early entry because MVP needed all trees cut by March 31.”
  • (5:03 pm): “Terry says he was in court back in January when MVP requested early entry.”
  • “Terry says he and Red have been married for 34 years this year.”
  • “Terry says the land has been in his family for 7 generations. It started as a land grant and transferred down the line.”
  • “John Coles Terry is now on the stand. Terry is Red’s husband and Minor’s dad. Terry says he has a BS in Civil Engineering from VMI.”
  • “Judge Dillon says she is not going to allow the written statements from Red and Minor, saying they appear to be self-serving statements and there is no opportunity for cross-examination. Dillon says she also requested Red and Minor be at today’s hearing.”
  • (4:57 pm): “Bondurant clarifies that he is representing not only Coles Terry, the property owner and the person named in the hearing, but also Red and Minor Terry”
  • “Red is not a party in this hearing. She is not named in the hearing. ‘She is an independent person and can make her own decisions and she’s chosen not to be here,’ Bondurant argues.”
  • “Massie says the witnesses are available, but they just don’t want to come to the hearing. Says if they want to present evidence they should be in court.”
  • “Bondurant is trying to introduce statements from Red and Minor as they are not here in court today. They are both still in their tree stands. Bondurant says the statements are made under penalty of perjury. Judge Dillon is looking over the rule on if they should be allowed.”
  • “Bondurant asking why they haven’t done other things right now, like putting up silt fencing and building the access road.”
  • “Jeffrey says the tree houses haven’t really impacted or lost time because of the tree houses. He previously testified it would cost $15k in incremental costs. Bondurant asking why they have to take the treehouses down before cutting down the trees.”
  • “Bondurant now talking about how MVP has been cutting trees past March 31. Saying they cut up to the edge of the tree houses and then went around them and cut more. MVP says they have about 2200 feet let to cut on the Terry properties.”
  • (4:37 pm): “He says FERC has approved for MVP to work on the Terry land.”
  • “He testifies other fees include security fees and legal fees.”
  • “Those include standby and delay fees, costs to remobilize to the area, and also costs for people to go up in the tree to get the tree stands.”
  • “Jeffrey now testifying that the tree-sits have kept tree-felling from finishing on the Terry property. Says the incremental costs are around $15,200, because of additional work.”
  • (4:33 pm): “Massie is now calling Jeffrey Klemfletor (sp), the director of construction for the southern half of the pipeline (Southern West Virginia and all of Virginia)”
  • “On direct, MacGerry says it was $21k. Their bill rate to MVP is $45/hour, but staff is only getting $21.50.”
  • “MacGerry says the security for MVP is paid hourly and they make $21.50/hour. They work 24 hours and have been out there for 19 days. That’s 456 hours which equates to $9,804 per site.”
  • “During one of my visits to see Red, MacGerry said people needed to stay behind the police line for their safety. When I asked what happens if they fall into the creek just inches behind the police line, MacGerry told me “that isn’t my concern.” @ABC13News”
  • “MVP now calling Steve MacGarry (sp), its third witness. MacGerry is also a security officer working for MVP.”
  • (4:21 pm): “Re-direct: Massie asks Sanchez if Roanoke Co. Police have asked Red and Minor to leave and she says yes. She then says that as far as she knows, nobody has asked Red’s supporters to leave the area.”
  • “Bondurant asking about birds and mimics the sound of a whip-poor-will bird.”
  • “For a short time, Roanoke County police were not providing food and water to Red and Minor. Now, for each meal, they get 2 bologna sandwiches, water and juice.”
  • “Sanchez says she doesn’t know who called MVP security and police. Laughs when Bondurant says he can assume it wasn’t the Terrys who called MVP and security.”
  • “Sanchez testifying that Red went up in the tree in late March, but then came down for Easter. She then went back up. At the time Roanoke County Police were called and Bondurant says they didn’t do anything then because Red wasn’t doing anything- she was just up in the tree.”
  • “Bondurant now talking about First Amendment Rights and how that pertains to Red’s tree-sit. Sanchez is testifying that the prayer flags are outside the police line.”
  • (4:16 pm): “Bondurant now questioning Sanchez on who is allowed the inside the police line at Red’s tree-sit. Sanchez and MVP people are allowed inside the police line, but Bondurant and family members are not allowed inside the police line.”
  • “A security officer for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Jessical Sanchez, says the Red and Minor are being with three meals a day from Roanoke County Police.”
  • “For ref., the major people in today’s hearing are Wade Massie, the attorney for Mountain Valley Pipeline, Tom Bondurant, the attorney for the Terrys, John Coles Terry III, the property owner, Theresa ‘Red’ Terry & Theresa Minor Terry who are both in tree-stands on their property”
  • “No pictures or video allowed in the courtroom for today’s hearing though.”
  • “Also in the gallery for today’s MVP vs. Terry Family hearing is Delegate @Sam_Rasoul”
  • (4:04 pm): “In the gallery today, the Reilly’s, who have a tree-sit on their property in Franklin County.”
  • “The attorney for the Mountain Valley Pipeline, Wade Massie, is now showing videos from local and national media including the @washingtonpost, covering Red’s tree-sit. @ABC13News”
  • (4:01 pm): “Judge Elizabeth Dillon has approved my request for my laptop and phone in the courtroom, so I’ll be live tweeting the hearing for #MVP vs. the Terry family in regard to @StandWithRed”

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