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State ex rel. Guste v. Two O'Clock Bayou Land Co., Inc.

365 So. 2d 1174 (1978)

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State ex rel. Guste v. Two O'Clock Bayou Land Co., Inc.

Louisiana Court of Appeal

365 So. 2d 1174 (1978)

Facts

The Two O’Clock Bayou Land Company, Inc., owned land in Louisiana around the Two O’Clock Bayou and leased part of that land to Creighton James Nall (property owners) (defendants). The bayou had in some locations been dammed and at its shallowest points was between three and seven feet deep. The property owners installed a cable across the mouth of the bayou in an effort to keep the public from entering and using the bayou as a waterway. The State of Louisiana, along with the local municipality, (plaintiffs) sued the property owners to enjoin their continued maintenance of the cable. The state sought a declaration that the bayou was in fact a navigable body of water under Louisiana state law and therefore subject to public use. Substantial evidence was provided at trial establishing that the bayou had been used for decades by the public for fishing, along with other commercial uses such as logging, via a variety of watercraft. The trial court declared that the bayou was in fact navigable and granted the permanent injunction against the use of the cable. The property owners appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Watson, J.)

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