Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Williams v. Double S Ranch, LLC

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division IV

December 14, 2016

HELEN WILLIAMS, ALLEN PRIMM, AND BARBARA PRIMM APPELLANTS
v.
DOUBLE S RANCH, LLC APPELLEE

         APPEAL FROM THE BRADLEY COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT [NO. 06CV-13-54-2] HONORABLE B. KENNETH JOHNSON, JUDGE.

         AFFIRMED.

          Gibson Law Office, by: Charles Sidney Gibson, for appellants.

          Haley, Claycomb, Roper & Anderson, PLLC, by: Richard L. Roper, for appellee.

          RITA W. GRUBER, Judge.

         The parties in this case are adjoining property owners of unenclosed, unimproved land in Bradley County who share a common boundary line. The dispute between them involves a road that runs east and west along the entire length of that boundary line on the northern boundary of appellee's land and just south of the southern boundary of appellants' property. Appellants, Helen Williams, Barbara Primm, and Allen Primm, appeal from an order of the Bradley County Circuit Court denying their claims of prescriptive easement, adverse possession, and boundary by acquiescence. On appeal, appellants argue that the circuit court's findings are clearly erroneous. We affirm the circuit court's order.

         Appellee, Double S Ranch, LLC, is owned by Stan and Linda Sweeney. The Sweeneys purchased their property-described as the Northwest Quarter of Section 27, Township 16 South, Range 12 West-in 1998 and settled record title of the property in appellee in 2000. Helen Williams and her (now deceased) husband, Earnest, acquired a partial interest in what is now her tract in 1954 and full ownership in 1978. Ms. Williams's tract is described as the Southeast Quarter of Section 22, Township 16 South, Range 12 West. Ms. Williams is Linda Sweeney's aunt; Barbara Primm is Ms. Williams's daughter and Linda Sweeney's first cousin; and Allen and Barbara are married. Surveys introduced by both parties indicate that the road in dispute is located entirely on appellee's property.

         In 2009 or 2010, Mr. Sweeney erected a gate across the road. Several years later, Ms. Primm called Mr. Sweeney to express her disapproval of the gate, and they arranged a meeting to discuss the issue. In July 2012, Mr. Sweeney and Mr. Primm met at the site of the gate in an attempt to work out their differences but were unable to come to an agreement. A year later, in July or August of 2013, the Primms removed the gate and placed it on the side of the road approximately 1/4 mile east of its previous location, prompting appellee to initiate this lawsuit.

         On August 29, 2013, appellee filed a complaint against appellants, alleging that the road was located entirely within the boundaries of its property, that appellants had removed a gate appellee had installed on the road, and that appellants may claim some interest in property owned by appellee. Appellee asked the court to quiet title in it to its legally described property, including the road, and to enjoin appellants from entering its property other than for access to Ms. Williams's property near the sign indicating the end of public road maintenance.

         Appellants responded, claiming that Ms. Williams had acquired a prescriptive easement over the road for ingress and egress to her property; that she had adversely possessed property north of a wire fence that runs parallel to the road; and that a boundary by acquiescence existed on appellee's property. Appellants then filed an amended counterclaim, clarifying that they had established a prescriptive easement in the road and claiming that the public had also established a public easement in the road due to county maintenance of the road and public passage over the road for more than fifty years.

         On August 25, 2015, after a hearing, the court entered an order quieting title to all lands located in the Northwest Quarter of Section 27, Township 16 South, Range 12 West in appellee, subject to the public's right to use a certain portion of the road ending at a sign erected by Bradley County marking the end of public maintenance. The court permanently enjoined appellants from entering appellee's land except for the portion of the road maintained by Bradley County. Finally, the court specifically found that the boundary line between the parties was as set forth on both surveys. Appellants filed this appeal.

         We review quiet-title and boundary-line actions de novo, but we will not reverse findings of fact unless they are clearly erroneous. Lafferty v. Everett, 2014 Ark.App. 332, at 3, 436 S.W.3d 479, 481. In reviewing a trial court's findings of fact, the appellate courts give due deference to the trial court's superior position to determine witness credibility and the weight to be accorded their testimony. Steele v. Blankenship, 2010 Ark.App. 86, at 10, 377 S.W.3d 293, 298.

         I. Prescriptive Easement

         We turn first to appellants' argument regarding a prescriptive easement. They contend that the circuit court clearly erred in refusing to find either a public or private easement. In Arkansas, one asserting an easement by prescription must show by a preponderance of the evidence that one's use has been adverse to the true owner and under a claim of right for the statutory period-that is, seven ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.