Bangert v. Osceola County

456 N.W.2d 183 (1990)

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Bangert v. Osceola County

Iowa Supreme Court
456 N.W.2d 183 (1990)

Facts

In the 1800s, Clarence Bangert’s (plaintiff) grandparents received 160 acres of land from the United States. A condition of accepting the land was that the grandparents had to plant 10 acres of trees. The trees grew 80 feet and were the largest in the state by the time Bangert came to own the land. Osceola County (defendant) sought to cut down the trees, citing reasons such as improving the roads and decreasing liability from falling tree branches. Osceola County claimed that the trees sat at least partly on county property, so the county had the right to cut them down. Bangert argued against it because the trees had sentimental and historic value to the family. The county waited until Bangert was out of town and cut down the trees. Bangert filed suit against Osceola County. The trial court found in favor of Bangert and awarded damages based on the trees’ market value, damage to crops, and damage to a fence. Bangert then appealed, claiming that the court should have included into the damages factors such as loss of wildlife and the trees’ status as a landmark.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Schultz, J.)

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