Protect Texas private property rights. Stop eminent domain abuse.
Jim and Barbara Miles own and operate the It’ll Do Ranch in Leon County, Texas, where they call home. Jim is a former county commissioner. Barbara taught English at Sam Houston State University before retiring to care for Jim.
About 5 years ago, a private company – Texas Central Railroad – demanded a survey of Jim and Barbara’s property for a proposed high-speed rail project. Jim and Barbara asked the company whether it had proof of eminent domain because without it the company had no right to enter onto their private property. Although the company kept saying it had eminent domain, it never showed Jim and Barbara a shred of proof that it had the right to come onto their private property.
Jim and Barbara got sick of being harassed by this company, which kept telling them it was going to build a 40-foot-high train right through the middle of their ranch. So in 2016, they filed a lawsuit asking for a ruling that Texas Central did not have the right to survey or take their property through eminent domain. Jim and Barbara won in the trial court but lost in the court of appeals. Unwilling to surrender their property to this private company, Jim and Barbara took their case to the Texas Supreme Court.
Thankfully, the Texas Supreme Court just requested full briefs on the merits in Jim and Barbara’s landmark eminent domain case. Texans Against High-Speed Rail’s Land Defense Fund is helping Jim and Barbara get their legal challenge to the finish line. We need your help to preserve and protect private property rights, not only for Jim and Barbara but for all Texans who have been or may be victims of eminent domain abuse. Please donate what you can, as soon as you can, and share this so others will do the same! Your donations to the TAHSR Land Defense Fund can be tax-deductible.
Here are some facts regarding Texas Central and its attempt to take Jim and Barbara’s and other Texans’ private property through the use of eminent domain:
· Texas Central claims it acquired eminent domain throughout Texas the moment it filed its incorporation papers with the Secretary of State and paid the $300 filing fee;
· Texas Central claims it has the absolute right to enter onto and survey private property anywhere in Texas without even having to seek permission from landowners;
· In the middle of Jim and Barbara’s lawsuit, Texas Central created a new company called “Integrated Texas Logistics” in an effort to fix all the problems it had encountered as a result of the absurd legal positions it was taking;
· This new company, Integrated Texas Logistics, sued Jim and Barbara and sought to recover hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees from them even though it had never contacted or communicated with Jim and Barbara in any manner whatsoever;
· On the Friday before a Monday July 4th holiday, Texas Central sent out threatening demand letters telling landowners they had seven days to let Texas Central on their property or they would get sued. This obvious bully tactic was especially offensive to our veterans;
· Texas Central sued over a hundred landowners in more than 40 lawsuits in six different counties across Texas, demanding access to private property even though the company couldn’t show any proof of eminent domain;
· Although it claims to be a “Texas company,” Texas Central’s primary source of funding is the Japanese government, who loaned $300 million to Texas Central to fund its lawsuits and other activities;
· Texas Central tricked some landowners into selling portions of their property, then Texas Central put that land up as collateral for the benefit of a Japanese high-speed rail company based in the Cayman Islands in order to secure the $300 million loan.
This project is NOT a transportation solution. It is NOT for the public good. It will benefit only a few wealthy Texans and the Japanese government, who wants a monopoly on high-speed rail in the United States, at the expense of honest, hard-working Texas landowners like Jim and Barbara.
This is blatant eminent domain abuse by a private company backed by the Japanese government, and you can help STOP it!
Help Jim and Barbara win their case before the Texas Supreme Court, for the benefit of ALL Texas landowners.
**TAHSR Land Defense Fund is a 501c3 registered public charity. We are Texas landowners and citizens, not backed by huge corporations or foreign governments. Jim and Barbara Miles had the courage to stand up against this company, but it takes a lot to get it over the finish line. Thank you for helping preserve private property rights for ALL Texans!**