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Spear T Ranch, Inc. v. Knaub

Nebraska Supreme Court
691 N.W.2d 116 (2005)


Facts

The term “surface water” refers to all waters found on the earth’s surface. Conversely, “ground water” is defined as water that occurs or moves, seeps, filters, or percolates through the ground under the surface of the land. Spear T Ranch, Inc. (Spear T) (plaintiff) used surface water from a nearby stream to irrigate crops and feed livestock. Spear T filed suit against adjacent landowner Melvin Knaub (defendant), claiming that Knaub pumped ground water from the creek and deprived Spear T of its surface water appropriations by significantly depleting the creek's water supply. Spear T sought injunctive relief and damages for trespass and conversion. The trial court dismissed Spear T’s complaint for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. Spear T appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Connolly, J.)

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