Before McMILLIN, P.j., Herring, And Hinkebein, JJ.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: McMILLIN, P.j., For The Court:
Monroe County Board of Supervisors, et al v. Nettleton Fox Hunting and Fishing Association, Inc., 96-CA-00093-COA
THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED, PURSUANT TO M.R.A.P. 35-B
DATE OF JUDGMENT: 01/03/96
TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN C. ROSS, JR.
COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: MONROE COUNTY CHANCERY COURT
NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - REAL PROPERTY
TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: ROAD ON APPELLEE'S LAND DECLARED TO BE PRIVATE
This appeal seeks the assistance of the Court in settling a dispute as to whether the roadways traversing a large private hunting preserve in Monroe County are public ways under the jurisdiction of the county board of supervisors or are private roads belonging to the corporation that owns the preserve property. The chancellor determined the roadways to be the private property of the corporation and the county has appealed. We affirm the chancellor.
Nettleton Fox Hunting and Fishing Association, Inc. is a Mississippi corporation that holds title to approximately 2,100 acres of real property in Monroe County used primarily for outdoor recreational activities. Some shareholders have constructed cabins or cottages on the property and some of these cabins are used by these shareholders as permanent residences; however, the corporation did not convey any interest in the real property to these shareholders in connection with this permissive use of portions of the property. The real property is traversed by a number of roads, all linked to the principal road into the property - a gravel road known commonly as Club House Road. The corporation maintains a gate at the point where Club House Road enters its property. There are also signs posted at this entrance indicating that the property is private. The proof indicated that the gate is not closed except that, during hunting season, the club posts a guard at the entrance whose duty is to turn away hunters not having permission to hunt on the property. There is no proof that Club House Road or any other road provides a necessary or even convenient means of access to any property other than locations within the corporation's own acreage.
The county offered into evidence minute excerpts from county records, one from the early 1800's and one from the early 1900's, making reference to parts of the county's then-existing road system. The county contends these references relate to what is the present-day Club House Road, and claims that these entries in the ...