Category Archives: Easements

March 29, 2024 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it through another week and have another long list of ag law news from around the country! *Avian influenza found in dairy cows in Texas and Kansas and goat in Minnesota.  State agencies announced this week that a disease found in some dairy cows in Texas and Kansas was identified as highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI).  A goat in Minnesota on a farm where chickens had the virus also recently tested positive as well.  The USDA believes the source of HPAI at the dairies is migratory… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Rules in Case Involving Implied Easement

The Texas Supreme Court recently ruled in Albert v. Fort Worth & Western Railroad Company, a case addressing legal access to a landlocked tract of land in Johnson County.  This case is a great reminder of the law regarding access to property and the various types of implied easements in Texas law. Background At issue in this case is access to a 10-acre property located in Johnson County, Texas (“the Property”).  It is separated from State Highway 171 by a strip of land owned by the Ft. Worth &… Read More →

Case Addresses Dedication of Public Roads

A recent San Antonio Court of Appeals case, Holly v. Newberry Ranches of Texas, offers a good overview of the law surrounding dedication of public roads.  [Read opinion here.] Background The Hollys own 1,500 acres in Val Verde County.  This property was acquired from two deeds, one in 2004 and one in 2005.  Both deeds reference “a county-maintained gravel road” known as Arledge Road.  In 2012, the Hollys protested the inclusion of Arledge Road in the Val Verde County Road map.  As part of that protest, a jury of… Read More →

Case Offers Reminder: Property Can Be Landlocked in Texas

A recent Waco Court of Appeals decision in Fort Worth & Western Railroad Co. v. Albert offers an important reminder that property can, indeed, be landlocked in Texas. [Read opinion here.] Background In April 2016, Albert purchased 10 acres of land in Johnson County, Texas to build and operate a cement mixing plant.  To do so, he and two business partners formed Chisholm Trail Redi-Mix, LLC.   The only access to Albert’s property was to cross a single-lane gravel railroad crossing over the neighboring property, currently owned by Ft. Worth &… Read More →

Case Addresses Easement Access for Landlocked Parcel

The issue of accessing landlocked property in Texas is one on which I get calls at least once a week.  There is a lot of misinformation out there about accessing landlocked property.  A recent case from the Ft. Worth Court of Appeals looked at whether the owner of one parcel had the right to cross two adjacent parcels to reach a public road.  [Read full opinion here.]   Background This case involved a stretch of land in Mansfield, Texas.  In 1999, Mr. Maxey, the owner, divided the property into… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Can a landowner place a gate across a “free and uninterrupted” easement?

Question:  I am able to access my property by a written, recorded easement that states I have “uninterrupted and free use” of the easement.  The owner of the servient estate (the person over whose land the easement crosses) has built a gate across the easement.  Can he do that across an easement that grants “uninterrupted and free use?” Answer:  Likely not. Keep in mind that every easement is different and even slight changes in wording could change the way a court might interpret the document.  So, it is… Read More →

2020 Agricultural Law Year in Review – Texas

If you missed our National Year in Review post, click here.  I am not sure I can remember a year with more agricultural law-related opinions being issued by Texas appellate courts. From fence law to eminent domain, hemp to liability, here are some of the biggest legal stories of 2020 from the Lone Star State.   Dicamba Registration Vacated, New Registration Issued, Lawsuit Filed Although this is a national issue, and we addressed it in more detail on our National Year in Review post, because it had such… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Can One Co-Owner Grant an Easement to a Third-Party?

Question:  Can one co-owner of property grant an easement to a third party or is consent from all co-owners required? Answer:  “It is well settled that a tenant in common cannot, without the precedent authority or subsequent ratification of his cotenants, impose an easement or dedication upon the common property in favor of a third party.”   See Tex. Mortg. Co. v. Phillips Petrol. Co., 470 F.2d 497 (5th Cir. 1972) (applying Texas law).  In other words, without the consent of all co-owners, or their subsequent agreement to the terms… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Reverses Ruling for Landowner in Easement Width Case

The Texas Supreme Court recently reversed two lower court decisions in Southwestern Electric Power Co. v. Lynch, involving a question of the allowable width of a general easement.  Although both the trial court and appellate court sided with the landowner and would limit the width of the easement, the Supreme Court disagreed and ruled in favor of the transmission line company, refusing to limit the allowable width of the general easement. Background Three landowners in Bowie County own land burdened by a utility easement held by Southwestern Electric… Read More →

Easements 101

This blog post is an excerpt from the Owning Your Piece of Texas: Key Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know handbook, which is available for free download by clicking here.  If you are interested in purchasing a hard copy, please contact me at An easement is a means by which a landowner grants another person the right to use the landowner’s property for a specific purpose.  The land on which the easement is granted is referred to as the “servient estate”, and the land the easement benefits… Read More →