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Ark Land Company v. Harper

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
599 S.E.2d 754 (2004)


Facts

In 2001, Ark Land Company (Ark Land) (defendant) purchased a portion of property belonging to several members of the Caudill family. The Caudill family had exclusively owned the land in West Virginia for nearly 100 years. Ark Land sought to purchase the remainder of their property from the other Caudill family members in order to extract coal from the entire property. The remaining members, however, refused to sell their land. Ark Land thereafter filed a suit to partition and sell the property. The Caudill family, in turn, sought partition in kind. During proceedings, the Caudill family presented expert testimony stating that the property could be partitioned in kind. But Ark Land presented expert testimony calculating that partition in kind would result in an increase of several million dollars in mining costs. The circuit court ruled that partition in kind was inconvenient and ordered the partition and sale of the property.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Davis, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Concurrence (Maynard, C.J.)

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