Kenneth and Loretta Kennedy were served with a restraining order to stay off parts of their own property in Brookwood, Alabama, on Jan. 24 (video below).
A Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s deputy, who insisted he "had nothing to do with it," served the couple with the order that does not allow them to interfere with drilling by the Black Warrior Methane Corporation, notes WIAT.
"I think what they're trying to accomplish is just don't go there," the deputy told the couple while serving them.
Black Warrior, which has been fighting the couple in court since 2011, has asserted that it "has and holds all of the rights of way, easements, waiver of damage and permission to conduct drilling operations, and reservation of mineral and mining rights," notes WVTM.
If a company owns the mineral rights on someone's property in Alabama, the laws says the company can drill and mine without permission from the property owner.
The Kennedys say the company's drilling, so far, has ruined their drinking water wells.
"When you moved to this area, for 25 years, you had good drinking water, and all of a sudden it starts smelling like rotten eggs," Kenneth told WIAT.
Loretta expressed her outrage:
They're really pushing the limit to me. It's my property. If I don’t want them here, why are they here? ... What kind of rights do you have? We bought the property. It’s paid for. And then we don’t have a right to say who can come on it and who can’t? That don’t make sense to me at all.
The Kennedys say they tried to sell their land to Black Warrior, but they could not agree on a price.
Kenneth told WVTM that Black Warrior wants to drill the land to get some methane gas that is trapped about 2,000 feet below a coal mine.
According to Kenneth, a former miner, if the gas is not removed it could pose a hazard to coal miners.