Subscribe to receive our Floor Reports covering all the action on the Texas House and Senate floor!
Relating to the award of attorney's fees and other costs in certain proceedings involving a groundwater conservation district.
No significant fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.
SB 851 would require that the losing party, in a case in which a groundwater conservation district is a party, pay attorney's fees of the prevailing party not to exceed $250,000.
Currently, groundwater conservation districts have a significant advantage in that if they are the prevailing party in a lawsuit, the landowner on the losing side must pay the GCD's legal fees. However, if a landowner wins, the GCD does not have to pay the landowner's attorney's fees. This bill would rectify that imbalance by requiring a GCD to pay attorney's fees to a landowner who prevails in a lawsuit.
This would remove a barrier to landowners seeking justice through the civil courts, and cause GCDs to be more cautious in the way they treat landowners as the consequences of being on the losing end of a lawsuit will be significant. We support SB 851 for uplifting the principles of limited government, property rights, and individual liberty.