Jul 23, 2021 | By: Lakeland News

Judge Rules Hubbard Co. Can’t Obstruct Access to Property of Line 3 Opponents

A Hubbard County District Judge has ruled the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Office must stop obstructing access to a property used by people who are opposing the Enbridge Line 3 pipeline project.

Hubbard County Sheriff Cory Aukes says the driveway does not have a proper easement to connect to a township road, which means driving on it is trespassing on county land. Aukes says they are not blocking the driveway but have been citing drivers who use it since the latter part of June.

However, Judge Jana Austad said in her decision, “This is a substantial violation of plaintiffs’ right to the use and the enjoyment of the property.” She added, “The alleged conduct of the Hubbard County Sheriff’s Department could also, if established, be a deprivation of constitutional rights.”

Austad says law enforcement must stop barricading, obstructing, or otherwise interfering with access to the property, which is owned by Winona LaDuke, the executive director of Indigenous environmental group Honor the Earth. Aukes says he will appeal the ruling.

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