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Cordwell v. Smith

105 Idaho 71 (1983)

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Cordwell v. Smith

Idaho Court of Appeals

105 Idaho 71 (1983)

Facts

Robert and Dorothy Cordwell (plaintiffs) owned land a few miles south of an interstate highway. There was a public road leading from the interstate to Latour Creek, and the Cordwells used this Latour Creek public road to reach their property. There were also three old logging roads that came together on the Cordwell property. The parcels of land to the south and east of the Cordwell property had 11 different owners (the landowners) (defendants). The landowners’ parcels and the Cordwell property were once owned by Ole Ladd. The landowners asserted a right to use the three roads across the Cordwell property in order to gain access to their properties from the Latour Creek public road. The landowners could have accessed their properties through an alternate route called the French Gulch route, which did not require crossing the Cordwell property. The Cordwells brought a quiet-title action to extinguish the landowners’ right to use the roads on the Cordwell property. The trial court found that only one landowner had acquired a right to cross the Cordwell property and quieted title in the Cordwells against the claims of the other landowners. The landowners appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Swanstrom, J.)

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