Texans have long hoped for a high-speed rail to make travel easier and quicker. High-speed rail projects have faced significant legal hurdles in past years, but one unique hurdle is halting the high-speed rail project to connect Dallas and Houston.
One of the biggest hurdles for high-speed rails across the country is they cannot run on the type of train tracks already present. This means new tracks have to be laid for high-speed rails, which led to the first legal hurdle. In order for new tracks to be laid, land on which to lay the tracks has to be acquired. While the government can use its eminent domain authority to take land, many landowners put up a fight. This is not uncommon for projects of this type, but landowners are trying a new argument that could stop the project in its tracks.
A judge in Leon County, Texas recently ruled that the company trying to build the high-speed rail is not railroad company, and therefore it cannot force landowners to sell their land to make way for its tracks. The company does not operate any railroads or own any trains, leading the judge to determine it does not have eminent domain authority. This is where the dispute becomes complicated. Companies depend upon eminent domain in order to develop tracks necessary not only for operation, but also to help them meet the legal definition of being a railroad company. However, eminent domain is not granted unless a company is already legally a railroad company.
What To Do When Legal Challenges Arise
The high-speed rail isn’t the only project facing nuanced legal challenges. Everyday business owners find themselves embroiled in legal disputes that hinge on hyper-technical legal definitions and court rulings. When these legal challenges arise, it takes an experienced business attorney to successfully navigate and resolve the dispute.
Texas Business Attorneys
At Feldman & Feldman, we’ve successfully handled many complex commercial litigation issues. We utilize our experience to find strategic solutions that work best for our clients. Whether we are representing clients in court or around the negotiating table, we aggressively fight to protect their interests. If you would like to schedule a consultation with one of the Texas business attorneys at Feldman & Feldman, contact us today.