law-takings-claim | inverse condemnation | eminent domain caselaw |
TAKING OF PRIVATE PROPERTY THROUGH EMINENT DOMAIN POWERS
A compensable taking can occur if governmental action causes “access to a landowner's property [to be]
materially and substantially impaired.” City of San Antonio v. TPLP Office Park Props., 218 S.W.3d 60, 66 (Tex.
2007) (per curiam); accord State v. Delany, 197 S.W.3d 297, 299 (Tex. 2006) (per curiam). “[D]iminished
access is not compensable if suitable access remains.” TPLP Office Park Props., 218 S.W.3d at 66. For
example, closure of one access point to property does not materially and substantially impair access if another
access point on a public street remains unaffected, even if the closure causes diversion of traffic or circuity of
travel. Id. at 66-67. Moreover, impairment of access is difficult to prove when the property in question has no
businesses, homes, driveways, or other improvements of any kind. County of Bexar v. Santikos, 144 S.W.3d
455, 460 (Tex. 2004).
The Texas Constitution provides that no “person’s property shall be taken, damaged or destroyed for or applied
to public use without adequate compensation being made.” Tex. Const. art. I, § 17; Sheffield Dev. Co., Inc. v.
City of Glenn Heights, 140 S.W.3d 660, 669 (Tex. 2004). Similarly, the Just Compensation Clause of the Fifth
Amendment provides that “private property” shall not “be taken for public use without just compensation.” U.S.
Const. amend. V. The Just Compensation Clause has been construed to apply to the states by operation of the
Fourteenth Amendment. Mayhew, 964 S.W.2d at 933.
Inverse condemnation occurs when property is taken for public use without proper condemnation
proceedings and the property owner attempts to recover compensation for that taking. City of Dallas v.
Blanton, 200 S.W.3d 266, 271 (Tex. App.—Dallas 2006, no pet.). To state a cause of action for inverse
condemnation, a plaintiff must allege: (1) an intentional governmental act; (2) that resulted in his property being
taken, damaged, or destroyed; (3) for public use. Id.
Although the Texas Constitution’s adequate compensation provision is worded differently from the just
compensation clause of the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Texas Supreme Court has
described them as comparable and generally looks to federal cases for guidance in takings cases. See Hallco
Tex., Inc. v. McMullen County, 221 S.W.3d 50, 56 (Tex. 2006); Sheffield, 140 S.W.3d at 669.
City of Houston v. HS Tejas, Ltd. (Tex.App.- Houston [1st Dist.] Oct. 22, 2009)(Massengale)
(inverse condemnation, regulatory takings claim, plea to the jurisdiction proper, ripeness issue,
opportunity to amend)
REVERSE TRIAL COURT JUDGMENT AND REMAND CASE TO TRIAL COURT FOR FURTHER
PROCEEDINGS: Opinion by Justice Massengale
Before Chief Justice Radack, Justices Bland and Massengale
01-09-00393-CV City of Houston v. HS Tejas, Ltd
Appeal from County Civil Court at Law No 2 of Harris County
Trial Court Judge: Hon. Jacqueline Lucci Smith
HOUSTON APPELLATE COURT CASES | TEXAS CASE LAW |
CAUSES OF ACTION ELEMENTS | HOUSTON CASE LAW | TEXAS COURT OF APPEALS OPINIONS
HOUSTON OPINIONS HOME PAGE