Supreme Court Revises Test to Establish Common Carrier Status in Condemnation Cases

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On March 2, 2012, the Texas Supreme Court revised its opinion in the controversial case, Texas Rice Land Partners, Ltd. v. Denbury Green Pipelne-Texas, LLC. In its original decision, the Supreme Court held that merely filing the paperwork and offering to make the pipeline available for public use does not make the pipeline a "common carrier" with the power of eminent domain. Instead, the Supreme Court held that Denbury Green Pipeline-Texas, LLC ("Denbury") must also show that a reasonable probability exists, at or before the time common carrier status is challenged, that the pipeline will serve the public by transporting gas for customers who will use the gas themselves or sell it to another party other than the carrier.

For more details on the Court's original decision, please click here. (See alert below for link)

The revised decision generally maintains the original decision, but makes one key change that clarifies when a pipeline company must show that that the public use will occur. As indicated above the Court originally held...

Please see full alert below for more information.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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