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Cowgill v. City of Columbus

March 23, 1999

MRS. E. L. WINTERS A/K/A/ LOUISE IVY WINTERS AND SUSAN PATRICIA WINTERS COWGILL APPELLANTS
v.
CITY OF COLUMBUS, MISSISSIPPI APPELLEE



Before Thomas, P.j., Lee, And Southwick, JJ.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Southwick, J.

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 04/18/1997

TRIAL JUDGE: HON. BEVERLEY M. FRANKLIN

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: LOWNDES COUNTY SPECIAL COURT OF EMINENT DOMAIN

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - EMINENT DOMAIN

TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: PROPERTY ORDERED CONDEMNED

DISPOSITION: AFFIRMED - 03/23/99

MOTION FOR REHEARING FILED:

CERTIORARI FILED:

MANDATE ISSUED:

¶1. The Lowndes County Special Court of Eminent Domain determined that the City of Columbus should under "quick take" procedures be allowed immediate possession of property owned by Mrs. Louise Winters and Susan Winters Cowgill. On appeal the Winters allege that the City failed to prove a public necessity or a public use, and that there was no irreparable harm if the City did not receive immediate possession of the property. We disagree and affirm.

FACTS

¶2. This case involves a City of Columbus drainage project. The City initiated the project in order to alleviate flooding and promote development in one section of Columbus. After being unable to obtain all needed rights, the City began condemnation under a statute that allowed immediate possession if delay would cause irreparable harm. Miss. Code Ann. § 11-27-83 (Supp. 1998).

ΒΆ3. The landowners filed a motion to dismiss and an objection to immediate possession, arguing that there was no public necessity and that irreparable harm would not be suffered if normal procedures were followed. After a trial on April 14, 1997, the court found that the City had proven both the public necessity and the prerequisites for a "quick take." Various post-trial motions were filed and denied. Louise ...


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