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Marty v. State of Idaho

Idaho Supreme Court
786 P.2d 524 (1989)


The Mud Lake (the Lake) area consisted of a diked lake without a natural drainage outlet and adjacent low-lying farmlands owned by a number of individuals. After consistent, torrential rainfalls, the local board of county commissions requested assistance from the Governor of Idaho (defendant) who subsequently declared the existence of a state of emergency because the excessive runoff had weakened the Lake’s dike. Should the dike have failed thousands of acres of lands and homes would be negative impacted by the flooding. The state of emergency required state agencies to do what was necessary to alleviate the conditions. However, due to the actions, and inaction, by the various governmental agencies, local canal companies, and water users (defendants) the lands owned by Joe and Ella Marty and many others (plaintiffs) were flooded. Plaintiffs filed suit against defendants seeking damages and injunctive relief based on a claim of trespass. Defendants moved for summary judgment, arguing that there was no basis for plaintiffs’ suit. The trial court agreed and dismissed the complaint. Plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Johnson, J.)

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