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Lewis v. Libby, McNeill & Libby
Alaska District Court
113 F. Supp. 272 (1953)
The defendant maintained and operated a salmon trap at the same site on the shore of Cook Inlet, Alaska, for 25 years. The defendant also operated a cannery, and the salmon-trapping site was critical to the operations. There was no property right in a trapping location, but local fishermen generally recognized the right to reoccupy a trapping site each season. However, the plaintiff made a claim to the land near the trapping site, including a cabin built by the defendant. The plaintiff and the defendant made attempts to negotiate an acceptable agreement regarding the trap site. The plaintiff then constructed his own trap site and substantially increased the demands for payments and rents. The defendant refused the increased price and began to construct a second trap nearby. The second trap would have been closer than permitted by law and would have subjected both the plaintiff and the defendant to potential criminal prosecution. The plaintiff sued and sought an injunction to prevent the defendant from finishing and operating the second trap site.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Folta, J.)
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