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Lacombe v. Carter
Louisiana Court of Appeal
975 So. 2d 687 (2008)
Randy Lacombe (plaintiff) purchased land adjacent to the Saline Bayou. Parts of Lacombe’s land were inundated by the waters of the bayou as a result of a water-control structure installed by the state. Shawn Daze, Brian Mabou, Marvin Carter, Jr., and William Smith (hunters) (defendants) had built duck blinds and installed a floating boathouse on the property prior to Lacombe’s purchase of it. After Lacombe bought the land, he asked the hunters to remove their blinds and boathouse. The hunters refused, and Lacombe sued them for trespass. The hunters circulated flyers and posted signs that claimed Lacombe was attacking hunting and fishing rights in the area. Lacombe lost business at his hardware store as a result of the dispute. The hunters claimed that the property was a navigable waterway, and the state was added as a party to the suit as a result. Lacombe presented deeds, surveys, official state maps, and Global Positioning System (GPS) evidence proving his ownership of the land and that the duck blinds and the houseboat were located on his land. A state official confirmed that the blinds and boathouse were in fact located on Lacombe’s property and that the state had no claim to the inundated portion of the land. The trial court found that the hunters were trespassing, ordered them to remove the structures, enjoined them from entering Lacombe’s land in the future, and awarded Lacombe $5,000 from each of them. Daze and Mabou appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Decuir, J.)
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