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Fiese v. Sitorius

Nebraska Supreme Court
526 N.W.2d 86 (1995)


Facts

Larry Fiese (plaintiff) operated an agricultural spraying business and airstrip on his property. Fiese’s father owned and operated the business from 1969 to 1981, when Fiese purchased both. Since 1969, planes using the airstrip had taken off and landed over the north end of the property. The Sitoriuses (defendants) own a farm to the north of Fiese’s property. In 1992, to prevent Fiese from safely using the airstrip, the Sitoriuses placed a stack of hay 30-feet wide and 15-feet high on their own property. The Sitoriuses also previously erected a 25-foot high pole directly across from the airstrip for the same purpose. Fiese sued to prevent the Sitoriuses from placing any obstruction in the airspace over the Sitoriuses’ farm. Fiese claimed he had acquired an avigation easement by prescription to take off and land over the Sitoriuses’ farm because he and his father had used the airspace since 1969. The trial court held that a prescriptive avigation easement had never been found and dismissed the case. Fiese appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Lanphier, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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