State Representative Ernest Bailes pre-filed HB 448 to address the rights of private property owners to file complaints against entities regarding alleged misconduct while exercising eminent domain authority. HB 448 is a top priority for Bailes in Texas’ 87th legislative session.
With multiple pipelines coming through Texas, landowners have found themselves at odds with entities exercising eminent domain authority. HB 448 will allow property owners to file complaints against those who are using the Landowner Bill of Rights to harass, intimidate, or otherwise mislead them. Currently there is no process for reporting these grievances to the state.
“The process for landowners to file complaints and express their concerns should be clarified,” stated Rep. Bailes. “The power of eminent domain should never be used as a threat, and those who misuse their authority should be held accountable.”
Bailes chose to refile the bill after it was left pending in committee in the 86th legislative session.
Under HB 448, the attorney general may recover civil penalties from bad actors of up to $1,000 for the first violation, and up to $5,000 for each subsequent violation.
About Representative Bailes
Elected in 2016, State Representative Ernest Bailes represents House District 18, including Liberty, San Jacinto, and Walker counties. Bailes, a lifelong rancher and agriculturalist, was raised on his family’s dairy and beef cattle operation in East Texas. He grew up in Shepherd and earned his B.S. from Texas A&M University in 2004.
Ernest and his wife, Courtney live in Shepherd, Texas with their two sons, “Cinco” and Rigby. Both sons attend Coldspring-Oakhurst CISD where Courtney is a school teacher. Ernest is active in the community and serves on various boards, including the San Jacinto County Fair Association, San Jacinto County Farm Bureau, and the SISD Technology Advisory Committee.