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 →

June 28, 2019 Weekly Round Up

Happy Friday!  Today, I’m speaking in Crockett at our “Owning Your Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Need to Know” program.  You’ve only got two more chances to catch one of these free events–Cat Spring on August 26 and College Station on September 12.  For more info click here and to register click here. Here are some ag law stories in the news from the last couple of weeks. *Judge dismisses lawsuit challenging Kinder Morgan Permian Highway pipeline.  You may recall from this prior blog post that… Read More →

Texas Supreme Court Upholds Condemnation of Private Drive

The Texas Supreme Court recently upheld the condemnation of a private drive in a case that tested the scope of “public” use under the Texas Constitution and the meaning of Texas Government Code 2206, which prohibits taking private property for certain economic development purposes. Background KMS is a commercial real estate developer that owned a 9-acre, triangle-shaped, lot in the City of Rowlett.  Four commercial sites were built on the southern boundary of the tract.  As part of that development, KMS built a private driveway, allowing access to… Read More →

Case Illustrates Importance of Bank Account Details

A case from the Tyler Court of Appeals back in 2017 recently caught my attention   Hare v. Longstreet offers a good reminder that the way one sets up a bank account can have important consequences down the road, and there are specific rules related to joint accounts of which people need to be aware. Background In 1998, L.D. Hare opened a checking account in his name at Austin Bank.  In 2000, he added Sherry Longstreet to the account.  In 2015, he added his son, Larry Hare, to the… Read More →

June 14, 2019 Weekly Round Up

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the world of agricultural law.  I want to welcome those of you who I met at speaking events for the Hill Country Cattle Women in Fredericksburg and the Owning Your Piece of Texas Ag Law Workshop in San Antonio.  If you’d like to see an article  and short video about our Owning Your Piece of Texas program, click here. Here are some of the major ag law stories in the news over the past two weeks. *Lawsuit filed against US… Read More →

Indiana Court of Appeals Upholds Constitutionality of Right to Farm Act

Recently, the Indiana Court of Appeals heard a challenge to the Indiana Right to Farm Statute.  In Himsel v. Himsel, the court held the statute was constitutional. Factual Background Sam Himsel has farmed in rural Hendricks County, Indiana, for his entire life.  In 2012, he and his sons decided to form 4/9 Livestock to start raising hogs.  They located their hog farm on property that had been in their family for over two decades and had been used for agriculture since at least 1941. The family planned to construct… 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 →

May 31, 2019 Weekly Round Up

We’ve reached the end of May…I’m not sure how time goes so quickly.  Here are a few ag law stories in the news recently. *Texas judge finds 2015 WOTUS Rule violated Administrative Procedures Act.  A federal judge here in Texas found that the 2015 WOTUS rule violated the Administrative Procedures Act.  Specifically, the judge found that the proposed rule, for which public comment was allowed, differed too greatly from the final rule.  In other words, because there were portions of the final rule that were significantly modified from… Read More →

2018 Texas Rural Land Value Trends Published

Each year, the Texas Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers & Rural Appraisers publishes the Texas Rural Land Value Trends report.  This document provides helpful, interesting information for Texas landowners on both average property value and lease rates for agricultural land across the state. The state wide average price per acre increased, up to $2,779/acre.  This is up 5.1% from a year ago.  The publication divides the state into seven regions, within which are multiple sub regions.  Land is broken down into different categories applicable to the… Read More →

It’s Here! Owning Your Piece of Texas Ag Law Handbook Is Available

It was a year in the making, but we are thrilled to release our newest handbook Owning Your Piece of Texas: Top Laws Texas Landowners Should Know.  This publication was made possible by funding through the Southern Risk Management Education Center.  The handbook offers Texas landowners and ag producers an overview of key agricultural laws that may impact their operation including water law, fence law, landowner liability, eminent domain, special use tax valuation, and more. To download a free copy of the handbook, click here. Also, we are hosting… Read More →