Pub. Lands Access Ass’n, Inc. v. Bd. of County Comm’rs of Madison CountyAnnotate this Case
Public Lands Access Association, Inc. (PLAA) sought a declaration that the public may use certain roads and bridges to access Ruby River. In 2008, the district court granted PLAA summary judgment on the issue of public access to the Ruby River from Lewis Lane. In 2012, the district court denied the public access to Ruby River at Seyler Lane and Seyler Bridge. PLAA appealed, and James Kennedy, who intervened as a defendant, cross-appealed. The Supreme Court consolidated the appeal and cross-appeal. The Supreme Court reversed in part and remanded, holding (1) the district court erred in deciding that the County had a secondary easement that was independent and separate from the public road right-of-way at the intersection of Seyler Lane and Ruby River; (2) in determining the width of the public right-of-way at the intersection of Seyler Lane and Ruby River, the trial court’s blanket exclusion of recreation use evidence was improper; (3) the scope of use of the public road right-of-way was not limited to the adverse usage; and (4) the district court did not effectuate an unconstitutional taking of Kennedy’s property when it ruled that the public may access Ruby River at Lewis Lane.