Category Archives: Eminent Domain

August 7, 2015 Weekly Round Up

Last night I spoke at the Amarillo Ag Club meeting and really enjoyed the great discussion with everyone in the group!  To those of you new to the blog from that meeting, welcome!  Here are some ag law stories in the news this week. *  Idaho “Ag Gag” Law Held Unconstitutional.  A federal judge in Idaho has ruled the state’s “ag gag” law, which was passed last year to prohibit persons obtaining access to ag operations through false pretenses or recording ag operations without consent, violates the United… Read More →

July 17, 2015 Weekly Round Up

It’s time for another quick rundown of ag law stories in the news this week.  Enjoy! *  Texas Supreme Court Will Not Hear Appeal in Ecom USA, Inc. v. Clark.  This means that the Amarillo Court of Appeals opinion in the case–remanding the case to the trial court for more factual development on the question of whether an arbitration clause in a cotton contract was enforceable–will stand.  To read my analysis of the Court of Appeals’ opinion, click on this prior blog post. *  Tensions High Regarding Pipeline Project to… Read More →

Texas Legislature Considering Important Eminent Domain Bill

Last week, I spoke at a Landowner Rights Conference in College Station along with attorneys Luke Ellis and Justin Hodge.  Luke and Justin outlined several pending bills in the Texas Legislature that aim to change the law related to eminent domain.  The most important of these bills, in my opinion, is Senate Bill 474, which was introduced by Senator Lois Kohlkhorst. Background Although both the United States and Texas Constitutions require that landowners be paid adequate compensation for private property that is taken for public use, this “adequate… Read More →

December 9, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Because I did not get the Weekly Round Up post up last Friday, I figured better late than never, so here is the first-ever Tuesday weekly round up of ag law stories in the news. * LCRA Seeks Approval to Cut Off Downstream Irrigation Releases for Fourth Year in a Row.  In a story that is unfortunately becoming all to common, the Lower Colorado River Authority voted 11-2 to seek permission from the TCEQ to curtail downstream releases from the Highland Lakes.  The curtailment would not just impact… Read More →

What Is Eminent Domain To Ag?

I recently wrote an article for Progressive Cattleman magazine discussing what eminent domain is and the importance that landowners understand the law surrounding this power allowing the government (or someone acting with governmental authority) to condemn private property for public use upon payment of just compensation.  There is no doubt this is a very controversial topic, but it is an issue frequently facing agricultural landowners across the country.  To read my article, click here. Additionally, this article led to an interview with two great guys, Pepper and Trey,… Read More →

Interviews Related to Proposed RRC Eminent Domain Rule Change

As we previously discussed on this blog, the Texas Railroad Commission is currently considering a proposed rule change that would modify the requirements for a pipeline to be granted eminent domain authority as a “common carrier.”  The period for written public comment has now closed on the rule and a public hearing was held on this issue on Monday morning in Austin.  The Railroad Commission will now move forward with its evaluation of the rule and consideration of the comments received.  To view all comments sent to the Railroad Commission,… Read More →

September 6, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Yesterday, I enjoyed a trip to Lubbock to attend the planning meeting of the county extension agents in Districts 1 and 2.  Led by RPD, Danny Nusser, the agents worked hard to come up with program plans for 2015.  It sounds like there will be lots of great programs in the Panhandle and South Plains next year!  I appreciated the opportunity to attend. Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * Eminent Domain Controversy Near Mumford.  A proposed rail yard has caused a… Read More →

Texas RRC Proposed Rule Would Change Application Process for Pipelines Claiming Eminent Domain Power

The Texas Railroad Commission has published a proposed rule that would change the process for classifying a pipeline as a “common carrier” or a “gas utility.”  Common carrier and gas utility status is significant as pipelines that are common carriers or gas utility have the power of eminent domain, allowing them to take private property upon which to place their pipeline.  To read a prior post on common carrier pipelines, click here. Currently, in order to achieve common carrier status, a pipeline company need only indicate that they are a common… Read More →

May 9, 2014 Weekly Round Up

Things continue to be busy around here with lots of programs going on.  Last week, I spoke on grazing leases and the Texas Right to Farm Act at an Agribusiness 101 session for Travis and Bastrop Counties in Austin.  Thank you to County Extension Agents Julie Ansley and Rachel Bauer for the invitation!  Last Friday, I made the drive to Nacogdoches to speak on basic estate planning at a Value of Land Seminar hosted by the Nacogdoches and Angelina County Extension Offices.  Jamie Sugg and Cary Sims did a great… Read More →

Important Victory for Texas Landowners in Eminent Domain Case

*This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.* A recent jury verdict in Johnson County, Texas illustrates an important point for landowners to understand when it comes to determining compensation for easements taken by eminent domain. Background In this case, the landowners owned a 400-plus acre parcel of land within the city limits of Mansfield, Texas, which is about 20 minutes outside of Ft. Worth.  Some of the land is commercially zoned and abuts Highway 287, making it prime property for commercial developers.  Peregrine Pipeline Co. (“company”) sought… Read More →