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Louisiana ex rel. Sabine River Auth. v. Lindsey

ELR Citation: 6 ELR 20173
Nos. No. 74-2637, 524 F.2d 934/(5th Cir., 12/17/1975)

In an eminent domain proceeding, the court holds that appellant landowners are not entitled to enhancement of the value of their land due to construction of the Toledo Bend Dam and Reservoir. Enhancement value is recoverable only if the land being condemned is outside the scope of the original project. The land in question, which is to be taken for use as a recreation area appurtenant to the reservoir, was designated as such on public planning maps from the project's inception. The court points out that in large projects not all land need be condemned simultaneously. The Federal Power Act gives the Sabine River Authority, as a licensee, the power to move in federal court to condemn lands in fee for use as recreation areas "appurtenant or accessory" to a dam or resorvoir. The court rejects appellant's additional claims that the land must directly affect interstate commerce to be subject to condemnation, and that only an easement, rather than fee title, may be taken. A state law requiring land claims to be filed in the public records is inapplicable to this taking since such a notice requirement affects only marketability of title, and appellants had actual notice of the taking from the published planning maps.

Counsel for Plaintiff-Appellee
W.R. Jackson Jr.
Chris Smith, III
Jackson & Smith
300 Courthouse St.
P.O. Box 1528
Leesville LA 71446
(318) 239-2244

Counsel for Defendants-Appellants
James S. Holliday Jr.
McCollister, Belcher, McCleary & Fazio
352 Florida St.
P.O. Box 2706
Baton Rouge LA 70821
(504) 348-5961

Coleman, J., for himself, Gee & Cox,* JJ.