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Tippah County v. Lerose

Supreme Court of Mississippi

October 3, 2019

TIPPAH COUNTY, MISSISSIPPI
v.
FRANK JOSEPH LEROSE AND TAMMY ANN LEROSE

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/05/2018

          COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: TIPPAH COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JOHN ANDREW GREGORY

          TRIAL COURT ATTORNEYS: DANIEL JUDSON GRIFFITH, WENDELL H. TRAPP, JR., B. SEAN AKINS MARY McKAY GRIFFITH

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: DANIEL JUDSON GRIFFITH, B. SEAN AKINS

          ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEES: WENDELL H. TRAPP, JR.

          BEFORE KITCHENS, P.J., BEAM AND ISHEE, JJ.

          ISHEE, JUSTICE

         ¶1. The Tippah County Board of Supervisors abandoned a public road, then rescinded its decision a year and a half later without giving notice to the owners of the land on which the road was located. We conclude that doing so violated the landowners' due-process rights, so we affirm the circuit court's order voiding the recision order.

         FACTS

         ¶2. County Road 701A ran through the LeRoses' property in Tippah County; they owned the land on both sides of the road. On January 15, 2015, the Tippah County Board of Supervisors entered an order scheduling a public hearing for February 27, 2015, to address abandoning CR 701A. Notice of the public hearing was published in a newspaper that circulates through Tippah County on February 4 and February 11, 2015. On February 27, 2015, the Board held the public hearing and entered an order to abandon CR 701A. The minutes of this meeting were approved on March 16, 2015. The Board's February 2015 Order abandoning CR 701A was not appealed.

         ¶3. On August 15, 2016, the Board reconsidered the abandonment of CR 701A and entered an order rescinding its prior order abandoning the road. Without elaborating, the Board found the abandonment had been "illegal due to lack of proper due process to the proper landowners," and it declared the February 2015 order void.

         ¶4. The LeRoses sued Tippah County on July 6, 2017, seeking a declaratory judgment that the August 2016 recision was void and asserting that they were entitled to damages for the Board's unconstitutional taking of their property without compensation. The Circuit Court of Tippah County ultimately granted partial summary judgment to the LeRoses, holding that the Board's recision of the abandonment of CR 701A was void and that Tippah County's interest in the LeRoses' property had terminated when the February 2015 order became effective.

         ¶5. This Court granted Tippah County's request for an interlocutory review of the circuit court's decision.

         STANDARD ...


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