TEXAS CENTRAL APPEALS GRIMES COUNTY SURVEY INJUNCTION
Jewett, Texas – Grimes County officials have released a statement regarding the county’s lawsuit against Texas Central Partners, in which Judge Albert McCaig permanently enjoined Texas Central or its agents from conducting surveys that would alter or damage county rights-of-way, and Texas Central has now appealed this ruling. The summary judgment by Judge McCaig was issued in April and prohibits Texas Central from performing the types of surveys needed to progress the high-speed rail project forward to construction. Although Texas Central attempted to downplay the significance of the ruling, the company’s appeal indicates they need this ruling to be overturned in order to proceed with their proposed Dallas Houston HSR plan.
Following a press conference held by Grimes County Judge Ben Leman on May 9, Texas Central attempted to spin the ruling by claiming that the company was still able to perform surveys, just not ones that alter or damage county rights-of-way.
In addition to his statement following the Grimes County summary judgment ruling (found here), Judge Leman added, “If determining property lines and elevation were the only things needed to construct a high-speed rail across our county rights-of-way, the company could be in the clear to move forward with surveys. However, information that can only be obtained through surveys that alter or damage county rights-of-way is required to determine foundation material type and design, among other critical construction decisions. Additionally, Grimes County requires proof of eminent domain authority prior to issuing a permit for high-speed rail construction on county rights-of-way. The county’s understanding of Judge McCaig’s ruling is that if Texas Central had the power of eminent domain, the court could not have enjoined the company from conducting the activities prohibited by the court’s permanent injunction. Having failed to provide proof of eminent domain authority to Judge McCaig, we feel confident that Texas Central will be unable to satisfy Grimes County’s regulation requiring proof of eminent domain authority. This regulation has also been passed in seven other counties along the affected corridor. Without proof of eminent domain authority, Grimes County and these other counties will not issue an HSR construction permit to Texas Central.”
Kyle Workman, President of Texans Against High-Speed Rail, weighed in on the appeal saying, “Texans Against High-Speed Rail has a long enough history with Texas Central to quickly recognize their spin and switch tactics. On one hand, they dismiss the severity of the ruling, pointing fingers at county officials. On the other, they quietly appeal because they cannot progress their project with this injunction in place. They have just enough marketing money to spin any negative news about their project to protect investor confidence; yet, they have secured little, if any, of the now 16 billion dollars (and growing) estimated construction costs. This project is nowhere near shovel ready; it doesn’t meet any of the America First requirements set forth by the Trump administration, and our state leaders have said they want nothing to do with helping to advance this project. It’s becoming more clear every day that Japan’s HSR export dreams are turning into a financial, legal and regulatory nightmare.”
Media representatives are encouraged to reach out to Texas Central for the spin on their appeal of this ruling. Texans Against High-Speed Rail, a group of average, everyday landowners attempting to protect property rights of all Texans, works to hold Texas Central to their claims while uncovering information vital to public review to prevent irreversible property value loss and eminent domain abuse.