Trespass

News & Analysis as of

You Own the Oil. Do You Own the Rock?

Riddle: What’s the difference between a hydrocarbon molecule and the underground structure which the molecule inhabits? Answer: In Texas, you can own one and not the other, according to Lightning Oil Co. v. Anadarko E&P...more

Texas Anti-SLAPP Law: The Expanding Scope of the Texas Citizen’s Participation Act – Part 5 (the conclusion)

To conclude the series, we look at one more opinion — Serafine v. Blunt, No. 03-12-00726-CV, 2015 WL 2061922 (Tex. App.—Austin May 1, 2015). This case dealt with a property dispute, but the real interest comes from the...more

Declaring War on Drones: Is it a Crime to Shoot Down a Drone over Your Property?

Trying to avoid the sweltering heat, “Uncle Jesse” Duke was in the garage working on his moonshine operation when he heard a loud shriek in the backyard. He ran to the back to find his niece, Daisy, sunbathing by the pool....more

New Jersey Supreme Court Rejects Broad Expansion of Private Nuisance and Trespass

Action Item: On August 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of New Jersey in Ross v. Lowitz, et al., No. A-101-13 (N.J. Aug. 6, 2015), held that property owners could not prove claims for private nuisance and trespass against the...more

Dust in the Wind

Delta Blue Blueberries filed suit in California against Wilbur-Ellis Company, Semi-Tropic Water Storage District, and Alpine Helicopter Service Inc. for negligence and trespass. (Case No. 39-2015-0032670-CU-NP-STK in the...more

Ninth Circuit Reverses Dismissal of Damages Claim in San Diego Contamination Suit

In a decision that may reopen the door to significant damages in a California soil and groundwater contamination suit, the Ninth Circuit reversed a trial court’s dismissal of the City of San Diego’s restoration and real...more

DuPont Wins Partial Summary Judgment in Drinking Water MDL

An Ohio federal district court gave E.I. DuPont de Nemours and Co. a partial victory in litigation over ammonium perfluorooctanoate (“C-8”) drinking water contamination in Ohio and West Virginia by granting partial summary...more

(US) Limiting the Sky: Is There Space for Drones in Real Estate Law?

Real property is generally conceived of as tangible and two dimensional. We acquire land described by courses and distances in a deed, depicted by lines on a survey. The laws respecting that land are well-formed; most in the...more

Real Property – Court’s Power to Issue Equitable Easements

Lilli Shoen v. Juliet Zacarias - Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District (May 22, 2015) - A trial court has the power to issue an equitable easement authorizing a trespasser to continue her trespass in...more

Real Property, Financial Services & Title Insurance Update: Weeks Ending June 5 & 12, 2015

REAL PROPERTY UPDATE - Lien Priority: claimant’s judgment lien related back to recording of lis pendens and therefore took priority over competing judgment lien obtained after lis pendens but before entry of claimant’s...more

Texas Supreme Court Avoids Answering a Fundamental Question in a Wastewater Disposal Case

One year ago, in the May 2014 issue of the Energy Newsletter, we highlighted the case of Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming Ltd., (2015 WL 496336) an important environmental trespass case pending before the...more

Trespass And Other Claims: Ever Wonder If Litigation Is Worth It?

Flyboy Aviation Properties, LLC v. Franck (In re Flyboy Aviation Properties, LLC), 525 B.R. 510 (Bankr. N.D. Ga. 2015) – A chapter 11 debtor operated a small private airport. The debtor and an adjacent landowner had a...more

Texas Supreme Court Holds Plaintiffs Must Prove Lack of Consent in Trespass Suits

Potentially making it more difficult for plaintiffs to prevail on trespass claims in Texas, the Supreme Court of Texas held for the first time that a plaintiff bears the burden of proving the lack of consent in a suit for...more

When Trespasser Becomes Plaintiff

The family of a 9-year-old California boy who survived a fall through a school’s skylight reportedly claims the school district should be held liable for his injuries because it was too easy to get on the school’s roof and...more

Property Owners Denied Class Certification in Halliburton Contamination Suit

Earlier this month, a federal district court in Oklahoma denied class certification to a group of property owners living near a contaminated research facility owned by Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. in Duncan, Oklahoma,...more

Locke Lord QuickStudy: What’s Underground Is Still Up For Grabs in Texas

Since the first oilman drilled the first water disposal well, cases have come through the courts in the U.S. trying to determine what rights each estate owner has, as well as the potential liability attributable to using...more

Injunctive Relief for Building Encroachment. Do I Have to Move the House?

When a land owner mistakenly builds a house or other building or structure that encroaches on a neighbor’s property, what is the remedy? Does the offending land owner have to physically remove the structure from the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Intersection of Party Diligence and Motions to Vacate

Section 2-1401 of the Illinois Code of Civil Procedure (735 ILCS 5/2-1401) provides that a judgment may be set aside more than thirty days after its entry on petition for various reasons. So when is the apparent lack of...more

N.C. Court of Appeals Addresses "Offset" Defense In Loan Deficiency Claims, the Ownership Element of Trespass

The Court of Appeals issued a number of decisions today, while snow and ice ghosted the City of Raleigh. The Court addressed trespass to land, the availability of the "offset" defense to commercial loan guarantors. Let's...more

Texas Supreme Court Leaves Trespass Question Unanswered

Last week, the Texas Supreme Court issued its opinion in Environmental Processing Systems LC v. FPL Farming Ltd., case number 12-0905, and specifically declined to address the issue of whether wastewater that migrates under...more

Is Wastewater Migration From Disposal Wells A Trespass Under Texas Law? The Texas Supreme Court Declines to Answer

In Environmental Processing Systems, L.C. v. FPL Farming Ltd., a landowner sued the operator of a neighboring wastewater disposal facility on the theory that deep subsurface wastewater trespassed beneath the landowner’s...more

Environmental Alert: "Texas Supreme Court Declines to Determine Effect of Permit in Subsurface Trespass Case"

The Supreme Court of Texas upheld a jury verdict finding that a landowner did not suffer trespass from a wastewater injection well located on adjacent property. Environmental Processing Systems, L.C., v. FPL Farming Ltd.,...more

California Legislature Takes Another Pass at Regulating Drone Operators

As part of our continuing California drone law coverage, today we report on the latest attempt by the California legislature to regulate unmanned aerial vehicles. Introduced yesterday by California State Senator Hannah Beth...more

Ninth Circuit Finds State Trespass and Nuisance Laws Not Preempted by Secondary Boycott Law

In a recent decision involving the interplay between California law and federal labor law, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that state trespass and nuisance laws are not preempted by the federal secondary...more

The Well Operator Should Have Listened To My Mother

My mother used to give us good advice. For example: Don’t lie … do your homework. Sabella v. Appalachian Development Corporation agrees with my mother. Sabella bought minerals in 1997 under 66 acres in Warren...more

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