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Leon County man takes high-speed railway company to the Texas Supreme Court

Railway route
Posted at 6:09 AM, Jan 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-14 08:57:57-05

LEON COUNTY, TEXAS — For a long while, James Miles was a caretaker of a Leon County family and in return, they gifted him with something most Texans would be ecstatic about– land.

With the newly acquired acreage though, it came with a condition.

“He never sell it, he never allow it to be divided; that when he gave it in his will, that his family would keep it intact,” said Blake Beckham, the lead counsel on Miles’ legal team. “It was basically a promise on a deathbed that I'll never allow the property to be divided.”

A high-speed railway company, Texas Central Railway, is looking to break that years-long promise and according to a court recording of a Texas Supreme Court hearing recording, split the 600-acre property.

“He said, I need a lawyer, I'm not gonna, I'm not going to agree to this, I don't want to sell,” Beckham explained when asked about why Miles wanted to sue the company.

Beckham said nearly five years of back and forth happened before the case went before the highest court in the state.

“We fought them in court saying you don't have eminent domain,” he said.

In layman's terms, they’re fighting the railway company claiming Texas Central doesn’t have the authority to take Miles’ private property for the public's use.

KRHD News reached out to Texas Central multiple times on the phone and through emails but received no response.

However, according to the Texas Supreme Court hearing recording, Marie Yeates, the railway’s representing attorney said Miles and his team ‘misinterpreted the transportation's code language and said the company is ‘not a sham.’

So, at this point, you may be asking yourself, where does this Leon County man’s fate lie?

While the decision is still pending, Beckham believes the future is promising.

“We feel elated because primarily, the state of Texas finally did the right thing, and came in behind us and totally took our support,” he said.

You can watch the recording here.