A Louisiana appeal court is hearing a lawsuit challenging state laws that let oil pipeline companies take private land.

The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal in Lake Charles is hearing a case involving the 162-mile-long Bayou Bridge Pipeline, which began operating in March. The trial judge ruled in May that the pipeline trespassed on some private land in St. Martin Parish. But he said construction was legal. And he awarded three landowners only $150 apiece.

The landowners say the law is unconstitutional. And they say the trial judge made errors during the trial.

(Story written by JANET McCONNAUGHEY/AP)