AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation today released a paper by Center for Economic Freedom Policy Analyst Kathleen Hunker on the need to reimburse landowners’ attorney fees in eminent domain cases. The paper, The Landowners Strike Back: How the Reimbursement of Attorney Fees Reinforces Eminent Domain Reform, examines how reimbursing attorney fees would enable Texans to pursue their rights, receive adequate compensation for taken property, and curtail the misuse of eminent domain. The reforms suggested in this research are incorporated in Senate Bill 474, currently being debated by the Texas Legislature.
“The vigor of private property rights—and every other right for that matter—depends on whether Texans have the opportunity to enforce them through the political process or in open court,” said Hunker. “At present, however, both avenues are closed to property owners facing an improper taking—this is especially so in the case of under-compensation where Texans are denied any chance at recovering their litigation expenses.”
“The Texas Legislature has been working to address the problem of inadequate—and unconstitutional—compensation since the Kelo decision,” said Bill Peacock, the Foundation’s vice president of research and director of the Center for Economic Freedom. “The findings of this paper show that new reforms, like those contained in SB 474, will make tremendous strides to correct this problem.”
To read the full report, visit: http://txpo.li/landowners-strike-back
Bill Peacock is vice president of research and director of the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
Kathleen Hunker is a policy analyst with the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.