CHEROKEE - A lawsuit filed by three Iowa farmers against the Dakota Access Pipeline and the Iowa Utilities Board now rests in the hands of a Cherokee County district court judge after an initial hearing Thursday.

The farmers are suing to prevent the use of eminent domain to construct the pipeline project. Representatives for the Dakota Access Pipeline and Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) requested the case be dismissed so the Board could determine if eminent domain is merited because the project is a public utility.

The attorney representing the farmers in the suit said he is confident in their case after yesterday's hearing. He said, "You can't threaten land owners to take your land or sign an easement when you're a private entity on a pass-through pipeline."

The pipeline project is yet to be approved by the utilities board. Public hearings on the project begin October 12, 2015.

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