Amy Pollard and a number of mineral rights owners have filed a proposed class action against the state of Illinois in the Circuit Court for the Second Judicial Circuit of Illinois. Plaintiffs allege that Illinois’s refusal to grant fracking permits violates their rights under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution as well as their rights under the Illinois constitution. Specifically, Plaintiffs argue that the state’s conduct constitutes an unconstitutional taking without just compensation.
Although Illinois law permits fracking, the state has failed to issue regulations governing fracking permits. Oil and gas operators have therefore been unable to obtain drilling permits. Plaintiffs allege that their mineral rights are worthless without a permit because they cannot receive any royalties until drilling commences. In the complaint, Plaintiffs state that mineral rights owners have already leased thousands of acres to oil and gas operators.Plaintiffs request attorney fees and at least $50,000 in damages for each member of the class. The class is limited to owners of mineral rights in the New Albany Shale formation in Wayne County. Plaintiffs estimate that the class could ultimately include more than one thousand mineral rights owners.

Read the complaint.