July 2019

Trespass to use mineral rights one property to extract minerals from a neighboring parcel.

The West Virginia Supreme Court held that a mineral owner or lessee that has the right to use the surface of one parcel to extract minerals or oil or gas from that parcel does not have the right to use that access to take minerals from neighboring parcels whose owners conferred no such rights. EQT Production Co. v. Crowder,2019 W. Va....

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Civil law or natural flow rule interpreted to allow artificial drainage of subsurface water

While the "free use" rule generally allows an owner to expel surface and subsurface water without liability, the civil law or "natural flow' rule imposes liability on an owner who artificially captures and expels such waters, especially if done in a direction different from the watercourse or the natural direction of water flow. However, interpreting a state statute codifying the civil law rule, (S.D. Codified Laws §...

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Owner seeking special permit has burden of showing it will not harm neighbors

A zoning board granted a special permit to au auto body shop after placing the burden of proof on neighbors to show that the shop would release harmful chemicals into the air. The Court of Appeals reversed because the owner seeking the special permit (the auto shop) should have the burden of proving that its operation would not significantly decrease air quality. Fish v. Accidental Auto Body, Inc.,2019 WL 2236279, 95 Mass.App.Ct. 355(Mass. App. Ct. 2019). In addition, the Court found that there was evidence that... Read more about Owner seeking special permit has burden of showing it will not harm neighbors