Aztec Limited, Inc. v.
Creekside Investment Company
Court of Idaho, 1979.
Idaho 566, 602 P.2d 64.
Facts: Aztec bought some land that
it thought was located north of Pocatello Creek Road. After checking it out, they realized that
they also bought a slice of property south of the road and a bit of the road
itself. Even though there wasn’t a
recorded easement for the road, Aztec realized that a public prescriptive right
of way had been created on the road.
There is also a dead-end street that runs off Pocatello Creek Road called Freeman Lane. Originally, it was built to provide access to
four houses. The easement for this road
doesn’t quite reach the main road; there is a gap of a few feet. Aztec admitted that the residents of the four
houses have a limited prescriptive easement across Aztec’s property. The dead end street was paved in 1973. In 1976, Creekside started developing a
200-unit apartment complex on Freeman Lane. In 1977, Aztec sued Creekside for trespass
for greatly increasing the traffic across the disputed strip of land and
widening the road. The trial court held
that the Freeman Lane prescriptive easement was
public and that the widening and increased use of the road didn’t amount to a trespass.
Issue: Did the trial court
correctly find that Creekside’s actions did not constitute an actionable trespass?
Conclusion: The appellate court
reverses the trial court’s judgment and remands for the determination of damages
or equitable relief or both.
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