Links and Resources Regarding Eminent Domain and Condemnation Law in Texas
The Dallas Area Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wright is pleased to provide the following links and resources for the benefit of property owners seeking information regarding eminent domain and condemnation law in Texas. We hope this information is helpful to you. If you need advice or representation in a property condemnation matter anywhere in the state of Texas, please contact our office to speak with an experienced Texas condemnation law attorney.
Texas Condemnation Resources
Texas statutory law on eminent domain can be found in Chapter 21 of the Property Code.
The Texas Landowner’s Bill of Rights can be found at the website of the Attorney General of Texas. A Spanish version is available as well. The Attorney General was required to prepare this Bill of Rights by Texas state law.
Proposed and ongoing public utility projects can be reviewed at the website for the Public Utility Commission of Texas.
Current and proposed projects from the Texas Department of Transportation can be accessed at TxDOT’s Projects page.
The Railroad Commission of Texas has the power to regulate pipelines, including classifying pipelines as common carriers, gas utilities or private carriers, which is important for determining whether a particular pipeline company has the power to exercise eminent domain authority. To find out if a particular pipeline is a common carrier or gas utility (eminent domain authority) or private carrier (no statutory eminent domain authority), call the Railroad Commission’s Gas Utility Audit Section at (512) 463-7022 for natural gas pipelines or the Commission’s Pipeline Safety Division at (512) 463-7058 for all other pipelines.
The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M offers several publications on eminent domain issues, including Understanding the Condemnation Process in Texas, Negotiating Transmission Line Easements, and Landowners’ Rights and the Trans-Texas Corridor.
Federal Eminent Domain Information
The Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, part of the Bill of Rights, is the source for the proposition that private property cannot be taken by the government unless it is for a public use, and requiring the property owner to be paid “just compensation.”
Kelo v. City of New London was a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2005 that upheld a city’s exercise of eminent domain to take private property for economic development. The court held this purpose was a “public use” within the meaning of the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
The primary mission of the Land Acquisition Section (LAS) of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Environment & Natural Resources Division is to acquire real estate by direct condemnation. Visit their site for information on condemnation from the federal government’s perspective, including a History of the Federal Use of Eminent Domain and the Anatomy of a Condemnation Case.
Eminent domain proceedings in federal court are governed by Rule 71.1 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.