“Eminent domain is the power to take private property for a public purpose. Condemnation is the process of taking private property for a public purpose.”
THE RECENT TEXAS SUPREME COURT DECISION OF HUBENAK VERSUS SAN JACINTO GAS CHANGED THE CONDEMNATION PROCESS.
“and by tinkering with the process, due process, landowners are not guaranteed to get just compensation any longer. In fact, all of the limitations that were assuring you got just compensation vanished with the Hubenak decision.”
IN THE PAST, IF A LANDOWNER PROVED HIS PROPERTY WAS WORTH MORE THAN THE CONDEMNATION OFFER, THE PROCESS WOULD BEGIN AGAIN WITH A FAIR MARKET VALUE OFFER IN STAGE ONE. THE TEXAS SUPREME COURT DECISION CHANGED THAT.
“We’re not going to throw it out. We might throw you over in mediation, but we’re not going to discuss the case any longer and two, you don’t have to make a fair market value in stage one, and if you fight it, your fighting costs if you would, both your attorney’s fees and appraiser’s fees are unrecoverable.”
A BILL THAT PASSED IN 2007 REQUIRES THE ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE TO NOTIFY LANDOWNERS OF THEIR RIGHTS.
“1495 says you should tell them that they are entitled to a fair market share offer, but they’re not, and that’s where the confusion is.”
HOUSE BILL 2006 GAVE THOSE RIGHTS BACK TO THE LAWNDOWNER.
“2006 put us back where we were prior to Hubenak. However, that was vetoed.”
THE FACT THAT THE BILL WAS PASSED OVERWHELMINGLY IN BOTH HOUSES MEANS THE ISSUE WILL BE ADDRESSED AGAIN, BUT PRODUCERS FEAR THE EFFECTS THE VETO COULD HAVE ON TEXAS AGRICULTURE BEFORE THE NEXT LEGISLATIVE SESSION. I’M JOE BROWN, LOOKING AT BRAZOS VALLEY AGRICULTURE, FROM THE GROUND UP.