Category Archives: Easements

Court Determines Meaning of “Oil and Gas” in Century-Old Pipeline Easement

The Fourteenth Court of Appeals in Houston recently issued an opinion in Texan Land and Cattle II v. ExxonMobil Pipeline Co., a case involving a dispute over the meaning of the words “oil and gas” included in a 1919 pipeline easement agreement.  This case is a good reminder for landowners about the importance of drafting detailed easement agreements and the long-lasting effects these easements can have on property. Background Texan Land and Cattle (TLC) own a piece of land in Harris County.  In 1919, the prior owner of the… Read More →

Amarillo Court of Appeals Rules in Landlocked Property Case

*Update:  A Petition for Review was denied by the Texas Supreme Court on August 2, 2019. * The Amarillo Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Gordon v. Demmon, a case involving access to landlocked property.  This is an issue more common in Texas than one might realize, so I always find court opinions instructive and a good reminder to landowners about some key considerations when dealing with access to property. Background In 1971, the Gordons purchased a 6 acre tract of land in Bell County, which was… Read More →

Court Upholds Finding of Easement by Estoppel

A recent decision out of the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals addresses the requirements to prove an easement by estoppel and offers some good reminders for Texas landowners when dealing with access easements. Background This case involves a dispute over a road between two pieces of property, one owned by the Cores family and another by LaBorde Properties.  The road had been in place even before the Cores and LaBordes owned the land and was created to allow landlocked landowners with property south of the Cores’ land to… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: How Can I Access Landlocked Property in Texas?

Question:  I own property that is landlocked–I’ve got no way to access my land from a public road without crossing over private property owned by someone else.  What can I do to access my property? Answer:  Despite many people thinking that landowners always have an automatic right to access their landlocked property, under Texas law, that is not always the case.  A landlocked landowner has a number of options to consider. Obtain an express easement from a neighbor.  Likely the easiest way to obtain access to landlocked property… Read More →

Texas Court Limits Width of Old, General Transmission Line Easement

*UPDATE:  The Company filed a Petition for Review with the Texas Supreme Court.  Briefing on the merits was requested from the parties in December 2018.  Merits briefing was completed in June 2019.  No determination on whether to grant the petition for review has been issued at this time.* A new case from the Texarkana Court of Appeals could prove extremely useful for landowners dealing with old, blanket easement agreements on their property.  In Southwestern Electric Power Company v. Lynch, the court held that the general easement at issue, which… Read More →

Pipeline Easement Negotiation Checklist and Podcast

If you’ve ever gotten notice that a pipeline company is planning on coming across your property and you found yourself facing the task of negotiating an easement, you know how intimidating that can be.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that you, as a landowner, do have rights!  You can and should take time to really negotiate with the company to ensure you are receiving adequate compensation and have included terms in the agreement to protect your property. In the last couple of months, I’ve… Read More →

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: Who Is Required to Maintain an Easement?

Question:  I own property in Texas.  I previously granted a roadway easement to my neighbor so he can access his property to the west.  Who is required to maintain the easement, including both keeping up the roadway and mowing the grass and trimming the trees along the road? Answer: The first step in answering this question is to look at the terms of the easement itself if it is a written easement.  If there are any contractual terms in the easement agreement describing who is responsible for maintenance,… Read More →

July 31, 2015 Weekly Round Up

*Don’t forget to nominate the Texas Agriculture Law Blog as one of the Top 100 Legal Blogs, click here.* The summer sure seems to be flying by and here we are at the end of July!  Here are a few ag law stories in the news this week. * Investigation into whether Big Bend Pipeline Should Face Federal Regulation.  You may remember from this prior blog that a pipeline is proposed to transport natural gas between the Permian Basin and Mexico, through Big Bend.  This week, the Federal… 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 →

Impact of Pipelines and Powerlines on Ranches

Recently, I was interviewed by Larry Stalcup for an article that just ran in The Cattleman magazine discussing how easements can impact ranchers.  Larry did a great job discussing many of the issues that landowners need to consider when negotiating easement agreements.  To read the article, click here.