May 14, 2022
South Dakota

S.D. Supreme Court rules for wind farm, landowner

Bob Mercer | KELO | May 12, 2022 |

The South Dakota Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a circuit judge’s decision in favor of Prevailing Winds LLC and a landowner in Charles Mix County.

The state’s high court publicly released the decision Thursday.

Circuit Judge David Knoff had ruled against a father, who claimed that a right to first refusal meant his son should have offered to sell farm ground back to the father, rather than be paid for an easement. The father opposed the wind project.

Justice Patricia DeVaney wrote the decision for the Supreme Court in Jerome Powers v. Dennis Powers and Prevailing Winds LLC.

“Applying the rules of contract interpretation here, the ROFR (right of first refusal) as a whole indicates that the parties intended the ROFR to apply only to sales, transfers, and conveyances of the property or any interest therein in fee simple. Because it is undisputed that Dennis’s agreement with Prevailing Wind did not involve a sale, transfer, or conveyance in fee, the circuit court properly granted Prevailing Wind’s motion for summary judgment on all claims,” she wrote.

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