Spencer Fane attorney Alison Rowe was recently interviewed in a TV news story for CBS DFW on the Texas open range law.
Titled “Antiquated Fence Laws Cause Liability Confusion In Car-Cattle Collisions,” the news segment discussed the issues caused by unclear regulations on stray livestock.
Texas is by default an “open range” state, meaning State law doesn’t require fencing in livestock, except on State and U.S. highways. However, at the turn of the 20th Century, the Texas Legislature granted each of Texas’s 254 counties the ability to hold an election on whether to pass a “stock law,” which would render that county or certain precincts within that county closed range. Roughly 20 Texas counties, including Collin County, where Spencer Fane has an office, are still open range. The county stock laws are located in each county’s commissioner’s court minutes. “This is the hardest law in Texas to locate and find a definitive answer on,” Alison explained. The difficulty in locating and interpreting the, mostly century-old, commissioner’s court minutes cause lots of confusion as to who is liable when an automobile collision involving livestock occurs. Alison, who is recognized nationally as an experienced attorney in equine law, has created the only known compilation of the Texas stock laws.
To view video of the interview and read the full article, please click here.