Seismic Activity

We purchased 80 acres in late March 2015. In August 2015 a representative of a seismic company called to tell us that they were going to bring seismic machines onto our property. We informed them that the person they had the contract with no longer owned the property and that they were not to go onto our property until we had an agreement.

Several weeks passed and we went out to find they had brought the items onto our property anyway!!! We immediately went to their office in person, informed them they had trespassed, and they said they would come up with a proposal.

Today - 15 days later, they called to tell us they were bringing a 'thumper' truck out to our property. WHAT? We reminded them we do not have an agreement. They called back and said they had a damages agreement for us to sign. NO! Then they offered us $500 - which is below what others - who they didn't trespass on their property received. We countered with $1,200. They called back and said $500.

I am thinking of filing trespass charges and confiscating their equipment - but I don't know if I can do that.

They told us the mineral rights owner has more rights than surface rights - but it OUR surface they are trespassing on!!! And they are freaking out our cows - two of which jumped the fence out onto the highway!!! HELP!

These type of stories make me so mad, as I don't like unauthorized "intruders" onto my land. I own surface/minerals, but you're right ... this is a surface issue. They don't know what they're talking about, or they're trying to intimidate you.

I've experienced similar trespass issues where contractor continually used their easement (across my land) as a road to get to other points in the line. I finally decided to call the sheriff while they were on my land last time and told him that the easement agreement, signed many years ago by my father, did not contain provisions to go outside the surveyed easement to reach other lands.

Sheriff came out and told them they were trespassing and it's against the law. They left and, to date, do not come on/across my land unless it's for a "right" that is spelled out in the easement.

In the meantime, I have placed a cattle panel across the gate that they installed when easement was made. Cutting the property owner's fence and installing an unauthorized gate to access other points in the line is illegal.

There is an article in a past Tierra Grande magazine, by Texas A&M real estate school, that talks about these two issues. Basically, if it's not written into the original easement, it is illegal, and property owner has the right to legally pursue the violation.

Why are you hesitating? You've already given them warning!

Get company and person's name, lock them out, confiscate their equipment, and file for trespass.

Good luck,