Not Many cases of speeding and littering ended before the US Supreme Court. Fewer Still involves shooting cats. Hardly Each will create national policy on property disputes affecting the state’s 620 million acres.
On Wednesday, Supreme Court will listen to arguments in this case. At The question in Wilkins v. United States is a very technical one and the result is simple: if United States encroaches on private land, can the owner take it to court.
The Case involved Robbins Gulch Road a dirt road through Bitterroot National Forest marginal private property, two hours south of Missoula, Montana. The The federal government has easements that allow logging and grazing, but the road was opened to the public a few years ago Forest Service. Speeding, with littering, poaching and theft ensuing. With With the help of Pacific Legal Foundation, the two landowners fight back; but first they have to go to court.
Wil Wilkins is a veteran who has been diagnosed with PTSD. HeSpent all his life in the mountains, including three years riding Idaho in the wilderness. Jane Stanton Lived across the street for 30 years. Wilkins and Stanton want Forest Service to respect easement conditions: restrict traffic, patrol and maintain roads. The The government claims the right to do what it wants with the streets – and Wilkins and Stanton have waited too long to sue.
The Supreme Court The exact question to be considered is whether the 12-year time limit for filing a claim under Quiet Title Act does not apply to a court with jurisdiction to hold a hearing to decide a disputed evidentiary test? “jurisdictional.” In Government or landowners bear the burden of proving that the deadline has expired? Does Could the government decide to waive the deadline? And Subtle issues are important in resolving property disputes, especially where easements are involved.
Those Private property issues can be delicate and slow, and disputes can take years to develop into real conflicts. Encroachment The example shows how this happens. Owners This through
Forest Service Opens Road prior to Public
The granted United States an easement to a logging road that has been occasionally used over the years by loggers, ranchers, and others with special permission to use National Forest . But This all started to change about 10 years ago; increased public transport, clashes with property owners. Wilkins’ The cat was shot by a passing driver (the cat survived). So Wilkins contacted the District Administrator with his neighbors. Not Concerning, he said, knowing that Forest Service it is unclear which roads are open to the public, and in fact Robbins Gulch Road will be closed completely following the National Travel Regulation
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