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January 11, 2022      5:44 PM

Texas Central and landowners again clash at the Supreme Court of Texas over eminent domain authority

The Texas Supreme Court made the exceedingly rare choice of re-hearing a case it declined to re-hear last summer: Deciding whether Texas Central fits the definition of a railroad and, thus, is vested with eminent domain authority for its high speed Houston-Dallas route.

This case – landowner James Fredrick Miles v Texas Central Railroad & Infrastructure – is, at its simplest, a case of the chicken or the egg.

Attorneys for Miles, a Texas Farm Bureau member in Leon County, argues Texas Central does not fit the state’s definition of a railroad line or interurban electric railway simply by its choice to spend a little money to incorporate.

Attorney Jeffrey Levinger, arguing on behalf of Miles, told the Court the state has never granted eminent domain to a high-speed rail company. And Texas Central – even with amendments to the state’s transportation code – does not meet the letter of the current law.

By Kimberly Reeves

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