Category Archives: Fence Law

Questions from Tiffany’s Desk: What About Those County Roads with the Cattle Guards?

Question:  I live in a county with a stock law, so a livestock owner may not “permit” livestock to run at large.  There are several county roads that run through a pasture with cattle guards at both ends that are not fenced.  Are those livestock owners violating the local stock law? Answer:  This is a question I’ve gotten from several folks all across the state, including landowners and even a county judge.  Although it seems that those landowners allowing cattle to be on the county road would be… Read More →

TX Attorney General Opinion: Estray Laws Apply in All Counties

Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton, issued an opinion in December on an interesting issue related to fence law.  Do the statutory estray laws apply in both open and closed range counties?  According to the Attorney General, he believes that Texas courts would rule that estray laws apply in all counties, whether open or closed range.  [Read full Opinion here.] Legal Background There are several legal issues important to understanding the AG’s Opinion. Open versus closed range: There are generally two approaches to Texas fence law: open range and… Read More →

TX Supreme Court Sides with Bull Owner in Fence Law Case

The Texas Supreme Court has issued an important opinion in a much-watched fence law case from Wilson County involving a collision between a vehicle and a bull.  The Garcia v. Pruski opinion is favorable for livestock owners in much of the state. [Read full opinion here.] Background Plaintiff, Mr. Garcia, was injured when his vehicle struck a bull on State Highway 123 in Wilson County.  Ms. Pruski (Defendant) owned property abutting the road that was enclosed by a six-strand barbed wire fence.  Pruski also owned the bull that escaped,… Read More →

December 6, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy December!  It’s hard to believe we are already into the last month of the year.  I’ve presented in several locations recently, so welcome to all of you joining us from Val Verde County, Swisher County, and Goliad County. Here are a few of the top ag law stories in the news from the past couple of weeks. * Texas High Plains agriculture publications released.  Several of my colleagues were involved in drafting and publishing two new publications: The Impact of AgriBusiness in the High Plains Trade Area and… Read More →

July 12, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Here are some of the ag law stories in the news recently. *Texas Supreme Court grants petition for review in Garcia v. Pruski.  As you may recall from this prior post, the San Antonio Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a fence law case involving a bull out on a State Highway in Wilson County, which has a local stock law.  The appellate court found that both the “knowingly permit” standard applicable to state and US highways and the “permit” standard applicable in Wilson County pursuant to… Read More →

Attorney General Opinion Sought in Fence Law Issue

Representative Poncho Nevarez has filed a request for an Attorney General Opinion to provide guidance on how stray livestock should be handled in an open range county. [Read request here.]  This is an issue not previously addressed by a Texas appellate court, on which there is a good deal of confusion, and on which I receive a lot of questions.  It will be very interesting to see what opinion the AG offers. Legal Background Presidio County, Texas is open range.  The county has never passed a local stock… Read More →

March 8, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Hello and happy Friday!  We’re back with another weekly round up of the top agricultural law stories of the past two weeks. * North Carolina nuisance ruling appealed. Plaintiffs in the first North Carolina hog farm nuisance lawsuit have filed an appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  A number of agricultural groups, including the American and North Carolina Farm Bureau have filed an amicus brief on behalf of the plaintiffs arguing that the North Carolina Right to Farm law should have applied as… Read More →

October 5, 2018 Weekly Round Up

Welcome to this week’s round up post.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  Here are some of the agricultural law stories in the news this week. *Environmental groups file suit against EPA regarding air emissions reporting for agriculture.  This is a continuation of an issue we’ve been watching for several years.  You may recall that back in April of 2017, a federal court ruled that animal agricultural operations were required to report air emissions to federal authorities under the federal CERCLA and EPCRA statutes.  Then, in April of this… Read More →

Texas Appellate Courts Analyze Fence Law Cases (Part II)

*UPDATE In January 2020, the Texas Supreme Court reversed.  To read a blog post on that Opinion, click here. This week, we are continuing this blog series with the second recent fence law case released by a Texas court.  If you missed Part I discussing Dearbonne v. Courville, click here. Today, we will focus on an opinion from the San Antonio Court of Appeals in Garcia v. Pruski, a case involving a motorist colliding with a bull on the highway.  [Read full Opinion here.] Background Plaintiff, Mr. Garcia, was injured… Read More →

Texas Appellate Courts Analyze Fence Law Cases (Part I)

Fence law was the topic of two recent opinions issued by appellate level courts in Texas.  Today, we will look at Dearbonne v. Courville a case out of Jefferson County, followed next week by a case out of Wilson County.  Both cases illustrate real-life situations involving fence law and offer differing approaches to the legal analysis of whether landowners can be liable for animals hit on the roadway. Background  The Beaumont Court of Appeals recently decided Dearbonne v. Courville. [Read Opinion here.]  In this case, the plaintiffs were injured when their vehicle… Read More →