Residents Could Lose Land In Dispute - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/24/03 - Red Springs

Residents Could Lose Land In Dispute

  It can happen to anyone who owns land in the state of Texas. A mistake in a survey could allow the state to claim your property as it's own. That's what a group of residents in the Red Springs and Sand Flat areas of Smith County are currently facing.

"Everything that I've really worked for my whole life is right here," said J.R. Brewers, pointing to land his family has owned for 40 years. He has been paying on it for the past 25 years. Six months ago, he paid it off. But about a month ago, that all changed. He received a letter saying he didn't own this land, the state did, if a vacancy claim is approved.

"I lose my home, my land, my shops," said Brewer, "pretty well everything."

A new survey performed by a couple of East Texas businessmen is trying to prove there is a 992 acre tract of land which lies between two existing surveys. It's that land the state could claim. If that happens, the residents currently living on that land would have the first right to buy the land back at fair market value.

"Sure, I can buy it back, present market value," said Brewer, "but at my age, that's going to be hard borrowing money, to buy it back. I don't know what I'll do. I really don't."

The same goes for Eddie McFarland. His land is at stake too.

"It's affecting our lives and our livelihood," said McFarland. "We can't sell our properties, we can't have it mortgaged or anything. And it may last two years, it may last ten years. We don't know."

Attorney Ben Jarvis of Tyler has filed one of two vacancy claims issued for this land. The people he represents stand to gain royalty rights on any future oil produced from this land, as the state will own the mineral rights. Jarvis says his new survey is more accurate than those performed in the 1800's. He feels the current land owners needed to do a better job researching the property.

"If the lawyers examined the title or a title company issued a title policy, they may have made a mistake on it," said Jarvis, "it is not private property that somebody else can deed to them. It is state property."

The issue is now in the hands of the General Land Office, which can accept or reject the claim. There is also an extensive appeals process, which could take years. In the meantime, J.R. and his neighbors can only wait.

Kevin Berns, reporting.

  • NewsMore>>

  • East Texas teams join in on Miracle Treat Day

    East Texas teams join in on Miracle Treat Day

    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:17 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:17:39 GMT
    Ever heard the saying, "treat yourself"? Well today was the perfect day to do it, because two East Texas teams paired up with local Dairy Queens to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.  Serving guest at the drive-thru and enjoying some ice-cream themselves, John Tyler Lions and Tyler Lee Red Raiders football took part in Miracle Treat Day.  A five dollar donation was worth a small blizzard. Who can feel bad about eating one of those ...More >>
    Ever heard the saying, "treat yourself"? Well today was the perfect day to do it, because two East Texas teams paired up with local Dairy Queens to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.  Serving guest at the drive-thru and enjoying some ice-cream themselves, John Tyler Lions and Tyler Lee Red Raiders football took part in Miracle Treat Day.  A five dollar donation was worth a small blizzard. Who can feel bad about eating one of those ...More >>
  • Longview man sentenced to 38 years for shooting, choking his ex-wife

    Longview man sentenced to 38 years for shooting, choking his ex-wife

    Thursday, July 27 2017 11:16 PM EDT2017-07-28 03:16:17 GMT
    Jose Isabel Garcia (Source: Gregg County Judicial Records)Jose Isabel Garcia (Source: Gregg County Judicial Records)

    An East Texas man has reached a plea agreement of 38 years in prison in the case of aggravated assault with a weapon to his ex-wife.

    More >>

    An East Texas man has reached a plea agreement of 38 years in prison in the case of aggravated assault with a weapon to his ex-wife.

    More >>
  • Camp Coverage: Teammates back Ezekiel Elliot and look forward to another great season from Zeke

    Camp Coverage: Teammates back Ezekiel Elliot and look forward to another great season from Zeke

    Thursday, July 27 2017 10:59 PM EDT2017-07-28 02:59:04 GMT
    KLTV StaffKLTV Staff

    Despite having a possible suspension hanging over his head, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's teammates say the 2016 1st round pick is extremely focused on football and building upon last year's success.

    More >>

    Despite having a possible suspension hanging over his head, Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott's teammates say the 2016 1st round pick is extremely focused on football and building upon last year's success.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly