MADISON -- A Boone County man claims his land was misused and damaged without his permission.

In January 2006, Dennis Chambers was appointed as conservator for Heyward Chambers of Madison. Heyward Chambers owned property in the Scott District of Boone County.

In March 2006, Heyward was approached by Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, Cranberry Pipeline Construction, and Jack Weber, an employee of Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, as well as several John Does (listed as Does 1-10 in the complaint). Weber approached Heyward about signing a lease to drill for oil and gas on his property, citing that Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation already owned the mineral rights to the estate.

In the complaint, originally filed on February 8, 2008, the suit states that firstly, Heyward was not competent to enter into the lease, and secondly, that the lease destroyed part of his land and prevented him from enjoying or using his land. It also states that the defendants kept the Chambers from using the free gas on the land.

Filed by Wendle Cook of the Madison firm of Cook & Cook, the Chambers are seeking $200,000 for the unlawful cutting and removal of timber, soil, and other valuable plants from Heyward's property, trespassing, conversion, breach of contract, unlawful entry, nuisance, and fraud. They are also seeking punitive damages for their willful, wanton, and malicious acts as well as to deter Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, Cranberry Pipeline Construction, Jack Weber, and Does 1-10 from repeating this behavior. Cook is also requesting an injunction to halt the flow of natural gas from and across the Chambers' property as well as the restoration of the Chambers' free gas.

Cook and the Chambers filed the complaint in the Circuit Court of Boone County, and now, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, Cranberry Pipeline Construction, Jack Weber, and Does 1-10 are seeking a removal from the Circuit Court of Boone County to the United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia.

Filed by Timothy Miller and Jonathan Bompiani of the Charleston firm of Robinson & McElwee, the removal is being sought by the defendants because the amount the Chambers are seeking is more than $75,000.

Also, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation and Cranberry Pipeline Construction are Delaware corporations but are based in Texas. They also believe that Heyward Chambers lied about the conversations he had with Weber. Because of these reasons, Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation, Cranberry Pipeline Construction, Jack Weber, and Does 1-10 believe the United States District Court has jurisdiction.

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