Barrett v. State
New York Court of Appeals
116 N.E. 99 (1917)
Beavers were declared protected from hunting in 1900 by the state of New York (the state) (defendant). In 1904 the state enacted a law prohibiting any person from molesting or disturbing wild beavers or beaver dams. The state authorized the forest, fish, and game commission (the commission) to purchase and release several beavers into the wild, including in an area adjacent to the land of William Barrett (plaintiff). Barrett’s land was valuable for building and its forest views. Beavers were known to be destructive, and several trees were felled and destroyed on and around Barrett’s property. Barrett sued the state, arguing it could not protect an animal known to be highly destructive in the same way that it could protect less destructive animals. Further, Barrett argued that the prohibition on disturbing beavers or their dams unlawfully barred him from protecting his property and constituted an invalid exercise of the state’s police power. Finally, Barrett claimed the release of destructive animals in the vicinity of his property by the state entitled him to damages. The court of claims agreed with Barrett, and the judgment was affirmed by the Appellate Division. The state appealed the Appellate Division’s order.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Andrews, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 707,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 707,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 44,500 briefs, keyed to 983 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.