MARLINTON—A Pocahontas County property owner is suing a West Virginia corporation on claims of encroaching on and altering her land without her consent for the purpose of installing underground fiber optic cable.

Darlene “Mickey” Deike of the Greenbank District filed a lawsuit against Citynet LLC in Pocahontas Circuit Court on Aug. 24, claiming that the business breached her property in October 2014.

The suit states that the plaintiff donated a conservation easement on her property, Shalimar Farm, to the West Virginia Agricultural Land Protection Authority and The Nature Conservancy on Dec. 14, 2009, and that the easement stated that the land should not be used for construction and installation of any underground or above ground public utility systems.

According to the complaint, in October 2014 the defendant’s manager requested but was denied permission for a right of way through the farm for fiber optic cable installation, yet proceeded to enter the property, cut and/or damaged wild flora, dug a trench and performed the installation regardless.

Throughout October 2014, Deike’s husband engaged in a series of emails with the defendant asking to have the cable removed without success, the suit states. When the plaintiff requested the same in January, the company responded that they would comply when the weather was "more reasonable," but to date have made no attempt to comply, according to the grievance.

Deike avers that the defendant violated common law by trespassing and altering her property without permission. She seeks removal of the cable, compensatory, punitive and liquidated damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, attorneys’ fees, and costs.

The plaintiff is represented by David Hammer and Joseph Ferretti of Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni in Martinsburg.

Pocahontas Circuit Court case number 15-C-31-R

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