Category Archives: Eminent Domain

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 →

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 →

August 2, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to August!  I’m not sure how the summer has flown by, but here we are.  These are a few of the ag law stories in the news this week. *Second round of Market Facilitation Program payment rates announced.  Last week, the USDA announced payments for round 2 of the Market Facilitation Program.  These payments are designed to provide assistance to farmers of commodities impacted by “unjustified foreign retaliatory tariffs, resulting in the loss of traditional export markets.”  Payment rates have been set per county for qualifying crops. … Read More →