Boudreaux v. Cummings
Louisiana Supreme Court
167 So.3d 559 (2015)
Since 1948, John Boudreaux (plaintiff) and/or his ancestors-in-title had used a gated pathway to cross a property belonging to Paul Cummings (defendant) and/or his ancestors-in-title, the Weills. Boudreaux, his family, and his workers used the pathway to get to and from a public road. The Weills were aware of Boudreaux’s use of the pathway, and the neighbors “got along well” and were friendly. In 1969, Mr. Weill wished to move the gate (and the pathway) to be closer to a river. Mr. Weill asked Boudreaux about moving the gate, Boudreaux agreed, and they worked together to accomplish the move. Boudreaux continued his use until 2012, when Cummings locked the gate and prevented further use. Boudreaux sued Cummings seeking recognition of a predial servitude or right-of-way by virtue of acquisitive prescription. The court conducted a trial, during which Boudreaux presented witnesses testifying to Boudreaux’s and his family’s use and maintenance of the pathway for at least 30 years (the prescriptive period) while Cummings produced no witnesses but argued that Boudreaux’s use of the pathway had been, all along, permitted or allowed by Cummings and the Weills and thus Boudreaux was a precarious possessor. The trial court ruled in favor of Boudreaux. The court of appeal affirmed, and Cummings appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Clark, J.)
Concurrence (Weimer, J.)
Dissent (Crichton, J.)
Dissent (Knoll, J.)
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