Category Archives: Eminent Domain

US Supreme Court Considers Texas Takings Case

Last week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Devillier v. Texas, a lawsuit involving rural landowners who claim the State of Texas took their private property by building a highway in a manner that caused flooding on their adjacent lands. [Read article here.] Background A group of Texas farmers, ranchers, and rural landowners filed an inverse condemnation action against the State of Texas claiming that the Texas Department of Transportation’s (DOT) widening of I-10 intentionally caused widespread flooding on their property resulting in a taking for… Read More →

January 19, 2024 Weekly Round Up

It has been a very busy couple of weeks for agricultural law around the country.  Here are some of the biggest stories in the news. *Texas landowners argue takings case at United States Supreme Court.  This week, the United States Supreme Court heard oral argument in Devillier v. Texas.  The lawsuit involves claims by rural landowners who claim Texas’ expansion of I-10 east of Houston resulted in flooding that constitutes a taking of their private property for which they are entitled to just compensation.  At issue in the case… Read More →

December 15, 2023 Weekly Round Up

Here we are with our final Weekly Round Up of the year.  Thank you so much for reading! *Defendants file counterclaims in show goat lawsuit.  One of our most popular posts of the year was discussing a lawsuit involving a show goat in California.  [Read post here.]  Recently, two defendants have filed a countersuit against the goat owners.  [Read Answer & Counterclaim here.  Specifically, the CEO and the Superintendent of the livestock show filed five counter claims.  Essentially, they allege that Jessica (the mother of the goat exhibitor)… Read More →

December 8, 2023 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to December!  While many people are slowing down as we head into the holidays, agricultural law is not!  Here are a few stories recently in the news. *US Supreme Court will hear Texas property owners’ takings claims against DOT.  The US Supreme Court has granted the Petition for Certiorari in Devillier v. State of Texas, a case involving a lawsuit by property owners to cover flood damages they claim were caused by a DOT highway project.  [Read Petition here.] *Second marriages and farm transition planning publication… Read More →

2022 Ag Law Year in Review – Texas

Each year, I am surprised by the number of agricultural law developments across Texas. This year is no exception, and I believe it may be the biggest year for agricultural law that I can remember in the Lone Star state.  If you missed our review of the biggest ag law stories on the national level, click here.   High Speed Rail Has Eminent Domain Authority The Texas Supreme Court issued a divided opinion in Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure holding that Texas Central Railroad has the power… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court: Texas Central Has Eminent Domain Power for High Speed Rail

In a case we’ve been closely following, Miles v. Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc., the Texas Supreme Court held that Texas Central does have the right to exercise eminent domain power in building the high speed rail from Dallas to Houston. 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 its name to Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure, Inc. (“Texas Central”) with a purpose to “plan,… Read More →

July 8, 2022 Weekly Round Up

We’ve made it to July!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Texas Supreme Court rules Texas Central Railroad has eminent domain authority for high speed rail project.  In a 6-3 ruling, the Texas Supreme Court has found that Texas Central Railroad does have eminent domain authority for its high speed rail project from Dallas to Houston. [Find opinions here.]  I’ll have a full blog post breaking down this decision next week.  In the next month, I’ll also… Read More →

June 10, 2022 Weekly Round Up

It’s been a bit since our last Weekly Round Up post, but we’re back! Part of the reason for the delay was a recent trip I took with my family to the Nugget All-American sheep show and sale in Reno, NV.  Because I’m a mom and bragging on our kids is what we do, I’m happy to report that both kiddos won banners.  Braun’s lamb was Reserve Supreme Champion Wether and Champion Dorset Wether and Harper’s lamb was Reserve Speck Wether.  My family also raised the Reserve Supreme… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Rules in Hlavinka v. HSC Pipeline

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hlavinka v. HSC Pipeline.  [Read opinion here.] Background Plaintiffs (“Hlavinka”) own four tracts of land totaling 13,000 acres in Brazoria County, Texas.  Although the family uses the land for agriculture, Mr. Hlavinka testified his primary purpose for purchasing the property was to sell pipeline easements. The land has 25 pipeline easements on it. Mr. Hlavinka recently negotiated two such easements in arms’ length, private sales transactions, receiving $3.45 million and $2 million, respectively. HSC installed the pipeline at… Read More →

March 4, 2022 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  There have been a number of agricultural law stories in the news over the past couple of weeks. *Texas Supreme Court hears oral arguments in Hlavinka v. HSC Pipeline Partnership.  The Texas Supreme Court recently heard oral arguments in an important eminent domain case analyzing what a pipeline must show in order to claim common carrier status and the ability of a landowner to testify regarding other pipeline easement values.  To read my summary of the court of appeals’ decision being reviewed by the Supreme Court, click… Read More →