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State v. Bourdon
Louisiana Court of Appeal
535 So. 2d 1091 (1988)
The Red River is a river in Red River Parish, Louisiana, that has meandered and changed course over time. Through cycles of erosion and sedimentary deposits, the river’s meandering created an oxbow lake, which is a horseshoe-shaped body of water created when the peninsula formed by a bend in a river is cut off and the flow of the river relocates away from that bend. The oxbow lake in this case came into being sometime after 1902, when the Red River abandoned its bed in that location and moved eastward. The state of Louisiana (plaintiff) filed a petitory action against Bourdon (defendant), the private landowners who had held the oxbow lake for 30 years, claiming that the state should own the lake as a navigable waterway. The trial court rejected the state’s demands and held that Bourdon was the owner under acquisitive prescription. The state appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Marvin, J.)
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