Category Archives: Easements

Texas Supreme Court Issues Important Opinion Regarding Damages to Real Property

Last week was a busy one for the Texas Supreme Court.  In addition to the Hamrick v. Ward opinion we discussed on Monday, the Court also issued an important opinion in Wheeler v. Enbridge Pipelines, L.P. that clarifies the proper measure of recovery for damages to real property.  [Read full opinion here.] Background The Wheeler family owned 153 acres of heavily wooded property in Shelby County.  The Wheelers agreed to grant Enbridge an easement across the property in order to place a pipeline, but required that the pipeline be installed by… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Clarifies Law Regarding Implied Easements

The Texas Supreme Court’s decision last week in Hamrick v. Ward is important as it clarifies the law regarding implied easements, which could impact landowners across Texas.  [Read full opinion here.] Background The facts in this case are actually less important than the legal principles set forth by the court.  Thus, the facts are reviewed only briefly in very simplified form. In 1936, O.J. Bourgeois owned 41.1 acres in Harris County.  He convened two acres of this property to his grandson, Paul.  During Paul’s ownership, a dirt road was constructed… Read More →

Compensation Considerations When Pipeline Companies Cross Your Land

The Texas Tribune recently published an article titled Pipeline Companies Paying More to Cross Private Land.  Due to the number of pipeline projects going on across the state right now, as well as recent jury verdicts favorable for landowners, it is important for landowners to be aware of various compensation ideas to consider if a pipeline seeks to obtain an easement across their property.   I recently published a thorough pipeline easement negotiation checklist to assist landowners in all aspects of negotiation, available here. There are several important factors to consider when determining… Read More →

PUC Sides with Landowner in “Wiggle Room” Decision Phase I

Last week, the Texas Public Utility Commission issued an order in a dispute between landowners Johnny & Eloise Vinson and Oncor Electric Delivery Company, LLC.  To read the full PUC order, click here.  This order addresses the issue of whether a transmission line company has “wiggle room” in building a line once a route has been agreed upon by the PUC and all parties to the PUC routing hearing. Background In June 2010, Oncor sought approval for a 40 mile transmission line that would cross through Denton, Parker, Tarrant, and Wise Counties.  The… Read More →

Pipeline Easement Negotiation Checklist

Due in large part to the oil and gas boom, many landowners across Texas and the rest of the country are currently negotiating pipeline easements with pipeline companies.  In order to assist landowners in this endeavor, I prepared a checklist of terms that should be considered when negotiating a pipeline easement. I am happy to announce that the checklist has been published and is now available for FREE download from the Texas A&M Agrilife Bookstore.  Although the checklist was drafted with Texas law in mind, the suggested terms… Read More →

April 11, 2014 Weekly Round Up

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* I hope everyone had a fantastic week and has fun plans for the weekend!  This week I traveled out to Brownwood, Texas on Tuesday to give a presentation on agricultural leases, eminent domain, and pipeline easements.  A big thank you to Brown County Extension Agent Scott Anderson for putting this program together.  I enjoyed the chance to visit with several local landowners during and after the program, so welcome to those of you joining us from Brown… Read More →

Beaumont Court of Appeals Orders Landowner to Tear Down Gate

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Two weeks ago, the Beaumont Court of Appeals issued a decision in Emmons v. Badanfriouz, a case involving a dispute between neighbors about whether a gate could be erected by one neighbor across an easement.  This case provides insight for anyone entering into an express roadway easement as to key language that should be considered with regard to whether a gate may be built across the proposed easement. Background An express easement was granted by the Emmons’ predecessors in interest to the… Read More →