The Texas land grant case delay — Live Update
The largest battle since Martin Luther King is working behind the scenes. The activism we are reporting about are the Texas Spanish Land Grant Heirs, One Voice.
Currently we have reached out to sources who are involved and they have not confirmed, or denied what is going on if anything.
Our reporters throughout the Associated Press are continually checking on the current litigation which come up empty.
For some of the the Spanish Land Grant Heirs, this is frustrating. For some heirs they have a difficult time keeping positive as Cee Vallejo, Heirs LLLC stated “Positives quotes…Remember rumors are a cancer… in our Ancestors honor that we fight for justice…
For one heir who wished to remain anonymous, she said, her and her family have “invested their life savings in this battle, and each time, things come up empty, only to find a new battle that costs more money, and this is really daunting.”
Probably to many of this heirs, they have never witnessed an appellate, supreme court or federal lawsuit. Our Associated Press, legal correspondent was asked “how long can this be, and what are reasonable expectations.”
She reported, that first and foremost, each person involved in a legal case must be patient. In a circuit court case, for example, delays are very common. Once the documents are filed, certain parties will delay the case by filing continuances (extensions). These can range from, having another court case to attend, a doctor’s appointment, medical reason, etc. Whether it is the defendant or the respondent, both sides may file these motions. Most common in the beginning of any legal battle is a request for discovery. The other side wants to know what the side filing the suit has. All these motions delay upcoming court dates, postpone them until later dates, dragging out cases for months or years.
A federal case is much different, in the aspect that it is reaching for further remedies, our legal correspondent has noted. These remedies range to normal or extreme. Reach to high and even the judge will shut the case down. Reach to low, and it’s not worth the effort.
She advised in the case of the Land Grant heirs, this is a delicate issue that has existed for years. Just what remedies are being sought are unclear, except for the website of one of the Attorney’s clearly state that this lawsuit is only seeking “damages”, not the payouts of all royalties that the State of Texas is withholding, illegally, or the oil and gas companies have not paid in or reported. Our legal correspondent said to expect a little bit of money, is reasonable, and to expect more legal battles to come, is definitely more realistic. This is not the end, but the beginning.
One of the group representatives we talked with said that many of the families in her group, are thinking that this is the big payout, which involves every penny that has been owed to them for years. This is unrealistic, she said. But she noted it is hard to convince people who have been taken advantage of for years, that you might not get anything this round again.
What are the rights of these Spanish land grant heirs ?
In our research we have found that in 1928 the Texas Supreme Court ruled that an act that would relinquish the royalties, was “unconstitutional”, and construed “did not relinquish the oil and gas rights to the landowners; instead it made the landowners the agent of the State for the leasing of oil and gas rights, and granted to the landowner, the right to one-half of all bonuses, royalties, and other benefits accruing from the leases.”
In simple terms, this means, that the heirs are supposed to be paid out 10%, 20%, 30%, it is supposed to be 50%, which is a large sum.
Not in this case
However this federal case is not about asking for any percent of these rights, its about seeking damages for them not paying these funds out, whether it was the oil, gas or the State of Texas. Realistically, possible one person may receive $100.00 or even $1.00 when you divide the amount into the amount of people seeking injustice.
Another thing that our reporting team noticed, is that most these land grant heirs are only talking among themselves, when they seek a remedy, about the royalties. They are not talking about the bonuses, or the “other benefits” that the oil and gas companies are supposed to pay out. But again this lawsuit, as far as we can tell, is nothing to do with royalties, bonuses, or other benefits. It is only about damages.
For our news network, this has to be the largest fight for rights in the history of the Hispanic / Latino population of the United States.
One thing is for sure, that this lawsuit should bring attention the atrocities, and racism committed against these people. Something like that of MLK, which should spark movements, protests across the nation!
Hopefully for the sake of all American Hispanics and Latinos, this will pave new paths, to other justices. In the case of the Spanish land grant heirs in Texas, hopefully it will pave the way for other legislation that will help them get the big pot of gold, not just the little bit of of suffering damages, they currently seek.
Stay tuned for more updates, as we continue to investigate and learn more on this topic.
Originally published at Hispanic News Network.