Monthly Archives: July 2013

Bounds v. New Mexico: NM Domestic Well Statute Is Constitutional

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** As I announced last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court has decided a hotly contested case regarding the constitutionality of New Mexico’s domestic well statute that gained national attention.  In a unanimous opinion, the court held that even in a fully appropriated basin, the DWS does not violate the Constitutional doctrines of prior appropriation or due process. Background Mr. Bounds is a farmer and rancher in southwestern New Mexico who holds senior water rights in the Mimbres… Read More →

July 26, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Here are a few ag law stories that were in the news this week.  I hope everyone enjoys the last weekend in July–the summer is flying by! 1.  A new federal study reports that climate change will make it increasingly difficult for New Mexico to meet its legal obligations to deliver water downstream under various water compacts.  This includes concern over deliveries from New Mexico to Texas under the Rio Grande Compact.  [Read article here.] 2.  North Dakota has… Read More →

Breaking News: New Mexico Supreme Court Upholds Domestic Well Statute

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** In a case that received nationwide attention, Bounds v. New Mexico, the New Mexico Supreme Court has held that the state’s domestic well statute is constitutional.  Specifically, the Court found that the domestic well statute does not violate the doctrine of prior appropriation or the due process clause.  Numerous other states across the West, including Texas, have similar statutes that allow domestic well permits to be granted without the usual procedural steps required to obtain a water permit. … Read More →

Texas Right to Farm Law

NOTE: There were significant changes to the Texas Right to Farm statute as of September 1, 2023.  To read a summary of the most recent version, click here.  As promised yesterday, we are taking a closer look at the Texas Right to Farm law.  The full text of the law may be found here.  As Texas’ population continues to increase and more and more people are moving into rural areas, it is important for all producers to be aware of the protections of the Right to Farm statute, and to… Read More →

Nuisance Suit Against Hog Farmer “Doesn’t Fly” in Indiana

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Earlier this month, the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed a nuisance claim against a hog farm located in rural Indiana.  The full text of the court’s opinion in Dalzell v. Country View Family Farms, LLC can be read here. Mr. Leis purchased his farm, which grew corn and soybeans, in 2005.  By 2007, Mr. Leis converted the farm into a hog farm, housing approximately 2,800 hogs.  Mr. Leis’ neighbors complained of odor… Read More →

July 19, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** We’re coming to the end of another week.  Here are some of the top ag law-related stories making headlines. 1.  Last week, the United States House of Representatives passed a Farm Bill, after splitting out the nutrition portion for consideration at a later date.  House leaders say that a vote on the nutrition portion of the bill may come within the next week or two.  In the meantime, it waits to be seen what will happen when… Read More →

Mediation, Arbitration, What?

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Dispute resolution is a popular and common way to resolve legal disputes.  Many people, however, are not aware of the difference between the two most common forms of dispute resolution, mediation and arbitration. Why Dispute Resolution? Litigation is time consuming and expensive.  It generally takes over a year for a civil case to be decided in court.  Dispute resolution provides a cheaper, and more time efficient alternative that will allow parties to resolve their differences and… Read More →

July 12, 2013 Weekly Round Up

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** Here is a quick recap of some agricultural law stories making the news this week. *Mexico to release water.  The International Boundary and Water Commission announced this week that the Mexican government has agreed to release some water to the United States from a Rio Grande tributary.  This release comes amidst escalating tensions between the United States and Mexico regarding compliance with a 1944 treaty.  Lawmakers and Commission officials say that Mexico’s announcement that will release water is… Read More →

News Release

COLLEGE STATION – Tiffany Dowell has joined the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service as an assistant professor and agricultural law specialist. Dowell, who will be based in College Station, specializes in legal issues pertaining to oil and gas, water and property leasing/grazing rights, as well as other issues affecting farming and ranching. “This is a unique position for AgriLife Extension and certainly a timely one with the heightened interest in Eagle Ford shale development and water rights,” said Dr. Mark Waller, AgriLife Extension program leader for agricultural economics… Read More →

A Cattle Rancher v. An Oil Company – The Accommodation Doctrine

**This article is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.** A recent Texas Supreme Court decision pitted a cattle rancher against an oil company, and has shed additional light on the legal principal in oil and gas law known as the accommodation doctrine. Background on Merriman v. XTO.  Homer Merriman owns the surface estate of a 40 acre tract of land in Limestone County.  On this land, he built his home, barn, and corrals, which he uses about once a year to work cattle.  Mr. Merriman also… Read More →