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Blackwell v. Lucas

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

November 20, 2018

WILLIAM BLACKWELL APPELLANT
v.
WILLIAM LUCAS APPELLEE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 09/21/2017

          JACKSON COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT HON. DALE HARKEY TRIAL JUDGE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT: EDWARD D. MARKLE

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE: EARL L. DENHAM

         EN BANC.

          WILSON, J.

         ¶1. William Lucas and his wife planted some "plants and shrubs" in the front yard of their home in Ocean Springs. Their neighbors, the Blackwells, complained and then filed suit in circuit court, seeking damages and injunctive relief. The "plants and shrubs" are not alleged to be noxious. Nor do they encroach on the Blackwells' property. However, the Blackwells allege that the plants and shrubs obstruct their view across the Lucases' property to the ocean beyond. The circuit court dismissed the Blackwells' complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. We affirm.

         ALLEGATIONS[1] AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. The Lucases own and reside in a house on Front Beach Drive in Ocean Springs. In March 2016, William Blackwell and his wife[2] bought the lot next to the Lucases' home on the same street. On June 9, 2017, the Blackwells sued the Lucases in Jackson County Circuit Court, alleging as follows:

On or about March 26, 2017, the Blackwells' [sic] noticed that Mr. & Mrs. Lucas had intentionally planted shrubs along the northwest side of their property contiguous with the southeast side of the Blackwell's [sic] property line. The shrubs and plants appeared to have been recently planted. If allowed to grow, the plants and shrubs would block the Blackwells' view of the ocean, the sunsets and the beautiful areas normally and typically available to property owners in the Oak Bluff Subdivision.
Shortly thereafter, the Blackwells asked Mr. & Mrs. Lucas to remove the plants and shrubs or to retard their growth so that the Blackwells' view of the ocean and surrounding area would not be blocked. The Lucas' [sic] declined to do so.
The plants and shrubs planted by Mr. & Mrs. Lucas along the common property line have and/or will unreasonably block the view of the Blackwells.
The actions of Mr. & Mrs. Lucas have created a nuisance by blocking the Blackwells' view of the ocean and surrounding area and by using their property in a manner that unreasonably annoys, inconveniences and/or harms the Blackwells.
The actions of Mr. & Mrs. Lucas amounts [sic] to and/or equates [sic] to an invasion of the Blackwells' interest in the use and enjoyment of their land and the invasion is ...

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