State v. Hiber
Wyoming Supreme Court
48 Wyo. 172, 44 P.2d 1005 (1935)
Frank Hiber (defendant) built an unpermitted dam to capture and store water on his land. By doing so, Hiber prevented the water from draining onto the property of T.H. Adamson, who had obtained a state permit to build a reservoir to capture the water flow. The water flow on Hiber’s property was irregular, occurring only during heavy rains or snow melt, and no regular boundaries, banks, bed, particular course, or natural outlets were present. Grass covered the ground where the flow occurred, and much of the water percolated into the porous soil. The State of Wyoming (the state) (plaintiff) filed an action to declare Hiber’s dam illegal and to enjoin Hiber from interfering with water flow onto Adamson’s property. The trial court determined that the surface-water flow was not within a watercourse and, therefore, not subject to state control. The state appealed to the Wyoming Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Blume, J.)
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