The Twelfth court of appeals in Tyler today heard arguments on whether a recently passed state constituitional amendment Is constitutional.
In 2005, voters decided that vacancy claims on privately owned lands in smith and upshur counties were not valid. Mineral and petroleum speculators had been trying to obtain mineral rights on the basis of inaccurate land surveys dating back more than a century.
Under the amendment though, those claims were nullified. However two men filed suit. Their claim on a small privately-owned tract in smith county was stopped cold, without a court ruling the current land owner, Eddie Mcfarland, says the men are trying to take his property, literally out from under him. While the Tyler Appeals Court heard arguments today, it will likely be the state supreme court that hears the case and makes the final decision years from now.