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Butler v. City of Eupora

August 13, 1998

VELMA R. BUTLER, W. C. BUTLER, WILLIAM C. BUTLER, JR. AND LAVERNE S. BUTLER
v.
CITY OF EUPORA, C. P. FORTNER, JR., BENNY NEAL, J. R. MCKIBBEN AND DONALD BRIGHT



Before Sullivan, P.j., McRAE And Smith, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: McRAE, Justice

Butler, et al v. City of Eupora, et al, 97-CA-00663-SCT, __ So. 2d __

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/24/97

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. W. E. BEARDEN, JR.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: WEBSTER COUNTY CHANCERY COURT

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - REAL PROPERTY

DISPOSITION AFFIRMED - 08/13/98

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. This is an appeal from a March 24, 1997 decision of the Chancery Court of Webster County which denied Velma and W.C. Butler, William C. Butler Jr., and Lavern Butler's request for an injunction to prohibit the City of Eupora from using a water line placed upon their property, to remove the water line and to take such acts as necessary to acquire easement with due compensation to the Butlers. They now assert that the chancellor erred in applying the after-acquired title doctrine to deny them compensation, in denying them damages for slander of title, in not finding the City liable for denying them due process of law, and in not issuing an injunction against the City of Eupora to require it to remove the pipeline or seek an easement by eminent domain. Finding no merit in the arguments raised by the Butlers, we affirm the decision of the court below.

I.

¶2. The Mississippi Department of Transportation (MDOT) contracted to build a bypass around the City of Eupora in conjunction with a four-lane construction project on U.S. Highway 82. The construction required that water lines owned by the City be relocated. MDOT subsequently required, pursuant to its authority, that the City relocate its water feeder lines in the new Highway 82 right-of-way.

¶3. On September 17, 1993, the City requested a permit from MDOT for the water lines to be relocated and placed in the new right-of-way as directed by MDOT. It was issued on October 1, 1993. MDOT designated the exact location of the water line, and it was installed at the precise location required by MDOT.

ΒΆ4. Velma Butler, W.C. Butler, and William C. Butler, Jr. were all vested with good title to their property at the time of the relocation of the water lines. The eminent domain court file showed that condemnation proceedings were commenced by MDOT against Velma and W.C. Butler in 1992. The decision in the condemnation and the conveyance of warranty deed from William C. Butler and Laverne Butler established the right of way in MDOT. The chancellor below determined that the August 30, 1995, order of the special court of eminent domain operated to make the order of December 22, 1992 void ab initio and operated to ...


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