Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Statute of Interest

I am working on a brief on a land dispute this week.  I found the following statute concerning adjoining landowners which may be of use. 

Mississippi Code Annotated § 89-13-1. Adjoining owners to contribute.  Persons owning adjoining land or lots, or being lessees thereof for more than two years, shall be bound to contribute equally to the erection of fences on the line dividing the land or lots, if the land or lots on their respective sides be used by the owner or lessee thereof for purposes of cultivation, or for horticultural purposes, or for the purpose of pasturing cattle, horses, hogs or sheep, or if a lot be used as an inclosure for any other purpose; and each party shall be bound to contribute equally toward keeping the party fences in good repair so long as the land or lot be so used. An owner shall not be bound to contribute to the erection of a party fence, either built or to be built, or to keeping the same in repair, who may prefer to build a fence and to leave a lane on his land between himself and the adjoining owner. But the failure to erect such fence for the space of sixty days shall be deemed an abandonment of the intention to do so, and a determination to adopt the fence built, and the person so failing shall then be bound to pay his proportion of the value of the party fence.

From my reading of this, adjoining landowners are equally required to maintain a fence under certain circumstances.  I am about to litigate what "any other purpose" means under the statute.  The statute has been around since the 1930s best I can tell with no interpretation of that provision. 

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