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Toups v. Abshire
Louisiana Court of Appeal
979 So.2d 616 (2008)
Earl Toups (plaintiff) and the Abshires (defendants) owned adjoining parcels of land. Toups’s land was an enclosed estate with no access to a public road. Toups’s estate had a servitude of a 30-foot-wide, 158-foot-long right of passage over the southern edge of the Abshires’ property to the nearest public road. There was a 17-foot-wide gravel driveway for the length of the right of way. Disputes arose between Toups and the Abshires over the use of the driveway because Toups and his guests would speed over it with cars, tractors, and trailers. The Abshires installed speed bumps on the driveway in an attempt to restrict Toups’s speed when using the driveway. Toups and the Abshires eventually signed a stipulated agreement that ordered the Abshires to remove the speed bumps and Toups to observe a 10-mile-per-hour speed limit on the driveway. The Abshires removed the speed bumps, but Toups and his guests disregarded the speed limit. The dispute continued, and the Abshires installed a fence along the edge of the servitude, a drainage ditch along the edge of the driveway, and a culvert where their own driveway met the servitude driveway. Toups sued the Abshires, alleging that these added features were encumbrances on his servitude right of passage. The trial court ruled that these actions by the Abshires did not in any way encumber the reasonable use of the servitude. The trial court further found that Toups had ignored the speed limit set by the stipulated agreement and ordered that two speed bumps be installed at either end of the access road to enforce the speed limit. Toups appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Ezell, J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Genovese, J.)
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