Babel v. Schmidt

765 N.W.2d 227 (2009)

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Babel v. Schmidt

Nebraska Court of Appeals
765 N.W.2d 227 (2009)

Facts

Arthur Schmidt (plaintiff) owned property on the north bank of the Platte River, and Thomas Babel (defendant) owned property along the south bank of the river, directly across from Schmidt. Their properties both extended to the thread—the deepest part—of the Platte River and included islands within the river. The river had changed course at some point in the past; Schmidt claimed that it was due to a sudden act of avulsion and that as a result, the current thread of the river was not the location of their respective property boundaries. Rather, Schmidt argued, the original location of the thread of the river remained the boundary line between their properties. To support his argument, Schmidt offered the testimony of two witnesses. Graves, a surveyor, speculated that the river had changed course due to an ice jam or flood, while Joeckel, a geology professor, testified about the soil deposits on various islands within the river. Babel argued that the river had gradually changed course through the process of accretion, and as a result, their property boundaries had moved with the thread of the river. The trial court agreed with Schmidt, and Babel appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sievers, J.)

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