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Concerned Citizens v. Pearl River County

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

December 16, 2014

CONCERNED CITIZENS OF RAVEN WOOD SUBDIVISION, ET AL., APPELLANTS
v.
PEARL RIVER COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI, A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, APPELLEE

DATE OF JUDGMENT: 03/21/2013.

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: PEARL RIVER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. PRENTISS GREENE HARRELL. TRIAL COURT DISPOSITION: GRANTED SUMMARY JUDGMENT TO APPELLEE.

FOR APPELLANTS: LEWIE G. NEGROTTO IV, JOHN STEVEN GARNER, TODD GREGORY CRAWFORD, MICHAEL JAMES THOMPSON JR., MATTHEW JAMES CRITTENDEN.

FOR APPELLEE: JOSEPH H. MONTGOMERY.

BEFORE IRVING, P.J., FAIR AND JAMES, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ISHEE, ROBERTS, CARLTON AND MAXWELL, JJ., CONCUR. JAMES, J., CONCURS IN PART WITHOUT SEPARATE OPINION.

OPINION

FAIR, J.

[¶1] This dispute concerns construction occurring on and around five acres of land owned by Pearl River County. The construction was undertaken by a third-party adjacent landowner that had an ingress/egress

Page 1235

easement over the County property. The plaintiffs, residents of an adjoining subdivision (Raven Wood), contended that the construction was illegal for a variety of reasons and that it was exacerbating flooding problems on their properties. They filed suit against the County to enjoin the construction and for writs of mandamus to compel the County to do a number of different things.

[¶2] The circuit court granted summary judgment to the County, and, as the residents have not shown that to be in error, we affirm.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

[¶3] " We employ a de novo standard of review of a trial court's grant or denial of summary judgment and examine all the evidentiary matters before it . . . ." Davis v. Hoss, 869 So.2d 397, 401 (¶ 10) (Miss. 2004). Summary judgment is proper when " the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." M.R.C.P. 56(c).

[¶4] " The evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the party opposing the motion." Davis, 869 So.2d at 401 (¶ 10). " [A]n adverse party may not rest upon the mere allegations or denials of his pleadings, but his response . . . must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." M.R.C.P. 56(e). Furthermore:

[W]hen a party, opposing summary judgment on a claim or defense as to which that party will bear the burden of proof at trial, fails to make a showing sufficient to establish an essential element of the claim or defense, then all other facts are ...

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