Smithson v. LindzeyAnnotate this Case
The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the district court declaring that Scott Smithson and Elena Morozova (the Smithsons) did not have the right to fish in the Little Laramie River, holding that a 1965 warranty deed granted a profit that was appurtenant to the Smithson tract, giving the Smithsons the right to access to fish in the Little Laramie River.
The predecessors of Frederick and Stephanie Lindzey conveyed the right to fish in the Little Laramie River to the predecessors of the Smithsons. The Smithsons filed suit for declaratory judgment and an injunction preventing the Lindzeys from interfering with it, arguing that they continue to hold the right to fish because it is a servitude appurtenant to the land. The district court found in favor of the Lindzeys, declaring that any right to fish was a license that ended when the original grantees sold their interest in the land. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the plain language of the 1965 warranty deed created a profit, and nothing in the deed or in the context of the transfer overcame the presumption that the profit was appurtenant to the Smithson tract.