Category Archives: Eminent Domain

September 11, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  We’ve had quite the cold snap come through the Texas Panhandle this week–when I was feeding on Wednesday morning, it was a brisk 36 degrees!  Here’s wishing everyone a big of a warmer weekend. Here are some of the ag law stories over the past couple of weeks. *Court dismisses western cattle groups lawsuits against NWPR Rule.  An Oregon federal court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the Oregon Cattlemen’s Association, Washington Cattlemen’s Association and New Mexico Cattle Growers Association challenging the Navigable Waters Protection Rule,… Read More →

Win for Texas Landowner in Pipeline Condemnation Appeal

Recently, the First District Court of Appeals in Houston sided with a landowner who challenged the eminent domain authority of a pipeline company seeking to condemn property.  The case is important for landowners and helps to further flesh out the facts that a pipeline company must be able to show in order to be a “common carrier” and illustrates some considerations in proving fair market value.  [Read full opinion here.] Background  The Hlavinkas own 15,000-16,000 acres of land in Brazoria County, which they purchased in 2002 for the… Read More →

So Many New Opinions!

Over the last month, there have been a large number of agricultural-related opinions released here in Texas.  I plan to blog on each of these individually, but many of you have asked for some basic information about several of the opinions.  Today, I will be giving brief summaries of the cases and links to read the full opinions for those of you who may be interested in doing so.  Stay tuned over the next couple of months to see much deeper dives into the decisions in each of… Read More →

Appellate Court Finds High-Speed Rail Meets Required Definitions for Eminent Domain Authority

A recent decision, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure v. Miles,  from the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals  garnered substantial media coverage.  Are the companies proposing Dallas-to-Houston high-speed rail, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. (TCRI) and Integrated Texas Logistics (ITL), considered “railroad companies” or “interurban electric railways”  such that they have eminent domain power? [Read full opinion here.] Background  This case revolves around the proposed high-speed electric-powered passenger train that would run between Dallas and Houston. In 2012, TXHS Railroad, Inc. was formed and in 2015, the company changed… Read More →

May 15, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  It’s been a busy couple of weeks on the ag law front.  Here are some of the cases in the news. *Appellate court finds Texas Central Railroad is a “railroad company” and an “interurban electric railway.”  One of the main legal battles over the proposed high speed rail project in Central Texas has been whether the builder, Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. qualifies as a “railroad company” or an “interurban electric railway.”  If so, the company would likely be entitled to use eminent domain to… Read More →

March 20, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Well…a lot has happened since our last Weekly Round Up.  Currently, all of my programs scheduled through March 31 have been postponed, including our Ranchers Leasing Workshop in Abilene.  We have also postponed our Ranchers Leasing Workshop scheduled in La Vernia.  I will ensure that my “Upcoming Presentations” page remains up to date, so to check on the status of any program, click here.  We are working on some potential online programs, including launching our online Ranchers Leasing Workshop course soon. Here are some of the ag law… Read More →

Eminent Domain in Texas: A Landowner’s Guide

Eminent domain is one of the most controversial issues facing Texas landowners.  The key to protecting one’s property is to understand a landowner’s rights, to be familiar with the condemnation process, and to know what steps to take when facing a taking of private property. In order to help educate landowners, I am thrilled to announce my latest handbook, Eminent Domain in Texas: A Landowner’s Guide, is now available.  It is my hope that this handbook will help educate and empower landowners to make the best decisions they can… 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 →

February 14, 2020 Weekly Round Up

Happy Valentine’s Day!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news this week. *USDA unveils two new risk management options for hemp producers.  For producers considering hemp production, there are now three potential risk management tools available.  Nationwide, producers will be able to enroll in the Whole Farm Revenue Protection program or the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) program. In 21 states, producers may take part in a multi-peril crop insurance pilot program.  Texas is not one of the states where this is available…. Read More →

October 18, 2019 Weekly Round Up

It’s time for another ag law weekly round up! I’d like to be sure and welcome those of you joining us from recent programs I spoke at in Brenham and College Station.  We’re glad you’re here. Here are some of the stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. * Kinder Morgan & City of Kyle settle lawsuit over ordinance preventing Permian Highway pipeline. You may recall from this prior post that the City of Kyle recently passed an ordinance requiring pipelines over 30″ in diameter to… Read More →