Your West Texas Legal Advocate

Standing Up For Your Rights In Oil And Gas Matters

Oil and gas companies often have considerable resources to put toward pursuing their financial best interests. It can be very intimidating when such businesses set their sights on using your land. But you don’t have to protect your rights alone. Our lawyer at The Law Offices of John T. Montgomery is ready to stand up for you.

We are based in Abilene and Albany. Our experienced attorney, John T. Montgomery, has deep ties to the Big Country. He understands the needs and concerns of landowners in West Texas. He is committed to tenaciously advocating for their interests in all legal transactions, interactions and disputes with oil, gas and pipeline companies.

Whether you are considering signing an oil/gas rights lease, facing potential eminent domain actions or seeking justice after your land was damaged by an oil or gas project, our lawyer is here to help.

Seeking Fair Compensation For Easements

An easement is defined as a right given to an individual, agency or company by a landowner to make a limited use of a portion of the land for a special purpose. In Texas, many pipeline companies strive for an easement through a landowner’s property. In other words, they want to purchase just the portions of the land through which the pipeline will travel. In order to circumvent a fair market value of the land, many companies turn to the process of condemnation in order to acquire the land. Our attorney helps clients understand their rights and get ahead of the pipeline companies in order to pursue the due compensation they deserve.

Challenging Common Carriers

In general, any company or corporation qualifying as a common carrier in Texas has the right to enter and condemn all or part of land, rights-of-way and easements. This right extends to the property of any person or corporation if the property is necessary for the construction, maintenance or operation of the common carrier pipeline. Most pipeline companies will qualify as common carriers, according to Texas law. During a challenge to a common carrier’s right of condemnation, the company must show that a determination of convenience and necessity to serve the public has been made for the project in question by the governing body, the board of directors or any other authority that has the power to speak and act for the company.

Navigating The Special Commissioner Process

If the final offer given by the pipeline company is turned down, then most companies petition the court for a board of special commissioners to make a decision about the proposed easement. A judge appoints three disinterested real property owners residing in the county (giving preference to those agreed on between the parties) as special commissioners to assess damages. The judge must provide each party with a reasonable period to strike one of the three commissioners appointed by the judge. During the special commissioners hearing, the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure do not apply since it is an informal hearing. An attorney is not required for these hearings, but in order for a property owner to protect their rights, it is best practice to have a knowledgeable lawyer represent them throughout this process. Our attorney strives to protect landowners’ rights that are infringed upon by unfair practices of pipeline and oil companies in Texas.

Ensure That Your Rights Are Protected. Contact Us Today.

Turn to an advocate who won’t shy away from standing up to powerful oil and gas companies to further your goals and best interests. Call us at 325-704-4357 or send us a message to learn more about how our lawyer can help you with your transaction or dispute.