Sitting for the court: Justice Paul W. Green, Justice Nathan L. Hecht, Chief Justice Wallace B. Jefferson, Justice Phil Johnson, Justice David Medina, Justice Dale Wainwright, Justice Don R. Willett, Justice Eva Guzman, Justice Harriet O'Neill
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department v. The Sawyer Trust
from Donley County and the Seventh District Court of Appeals, Amarillo
For petitioner: Kristofer S. Monson, Austin
For respondent: Jody Sheets, Dallas
This dispute over a mining permit to take sand and gravel from what the state contends is a navigational stream bed raises these principal issues: (1) whether the state’s jurisdictional immunity plea fails because the trust alleges the state is unconstitutionally “taking” its property and, if not, (2) whether state officials must be sued instead of the state itself. In this case the trust seeks to sell sand and gravel from the bed of the Salt Fork of the Red River traversing its property. By statute the state, through the parks department, owns sand and gravel in a navigable river streambed. The trust sued first to declare the Salt Fork at that point was not navigable, then added the takings claim. The trial court denied the state’s jurisdictional plea and the court of appeals affirmed.
The first argument begins at 9 a.m. in the courtroom in Austin. Each side will have 20 minutes for argument.
This advisory serves only as an abbreviated guide to oral argument. Summaries are prepared by the Court’s staff attorney for public information and reflect his judgment alone on facts and legal issues and in no way represent the Court’s opinion about case merits.
Texas Supreme Court advisory
Contact: Osler McCarthy,
Staff Attorney for Public Information
(512) 463.1441 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org