Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Attorney: Suit filed against BLM to defend private property rights

The lawsuit filed in federal district court in Wichita Falls against the Bureau of Land Management is to provide some resolution and relief from claims by the federal agency that has put the landowners on hold for several years now. Robert Henneke, director of the Center for the American Future at the Texas Public Policy Foundation in Austin, said the purpose of the lawsuit titled Aderholt et al v. Bureau of Land Management et al is to defend the property rights of landowners from what they characterize as a land grab. "... at the end of the day, the successful outcome for us and what we're pursuing in court is to have the federal district court in Wichita Falls affirmatively determine and affirm that the BLM federal territory does not extend into Texas, that it stops at the gradient boundary of the south cut bank of the Red River where it currently exists today, as was determined and intended by the Supreme Court," Henneke said, "and to once and for all resolve this private property dispute so that our clients and other citizens in Texas that live ... along this stretch of the Red River can be back at peace, knowing that their property is their's and that they will not be suffering any other threat of seizure from the federal government." The attorney said the issue goes back to the creation of the Texas-Oklahoma border in the 1800s, at which time it was established as the south cut bank of the river. Because of the soft, sandy riverbed, he said the river was constantly changing, resulting in the lawsuit that went to the Supreme Court in 1923. SCOTUS defined, through a survey completed by Cols. Arthur Stiles and Arthur Kidder, as the gradient boundary between south cut bank and the edge of water in the river. "It's always been private property. They've always paid taxes on it, they've ranched it, they've farmed it," Henneke said. "There's never been any claim about their property other than that it was their private property as recognized — the patents that were issued by the state of Texas, the land to the chain of titles and to the tax records and private property recognition."...more

No comments: