Jim Harris Quoted in Law360 on Railroad Drainage Fee Case

“Railroads Say Houston Official Can Be Sued Over Drainage Fee”

Three railroad companies on Tuesday asked the Texas Supreme Court to allow them to sue Houston’s public works director, arguing they have been unjustly blocked from contesting the methodology used by the director to calculate a city drainage fee.

The railroads’ lawyer, Jim Harris of Thompson & Knight LLP, said that under the city ordinance, either appraisal district data or “other similar reliable data” must be used to determine the amount of impervious cover. He argued that means whatever the other data is must be consistent with the primary determination of the appraisal district, and said Krueger’s aerial photography method clearly was not, so the railroads should be able to get judicial review of his decision.

The railroads are represented by James B. Harris, Stephen F. Fink, Debora B. Alsup and Richard B. Phillips Jr. of Thompson & Knight LLP.