Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Drennan

Decision Date26 September 1966
Docket NumberNo. 5--3948,5--3948
PartiesARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION, Appellant, v. Donald H. DRENNAN et al., Appellees.
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

George O. Green, Don Langston, Little Rock, for appellant.

Floyd G. Rogers, Van Buren, for appellees.

COBB, Justice.

This appeal reaches us from a judgment in favor of appellees entered in the Crawford Circuit Court. It involves the taking by condemnation of 32.9 acres of land for use in construction of Interstate Highway No. 40. Appellees' original land tract contained 170 acres.

We note at the outset of our review of this case that appellant does not contend that the judgment for appellees is excessive in amount, nor does appellant contend that the case was submitted to the jury without proper guidelines to the applicable law, no objections being made to the instructions to the jury as given by the trial court.

All four of appellant's points on appeal relate to motions to strike certain portions of the testimony of appellees and of their three expert witnesses, all of the motions having been denied by the trial court.

Appellant's Point No. 1.

This point relates to appellant's motion to strike all of the value testimony of appellee because he gave no fair and reasonable basis for his opinion.

Most owners of rural lands, like this appellee, are farmers, and also like appellee they are not qualified as land appraisal experts. This does not mean that such owners who have such a close personal relationship to the lands involved have no sense of proper land values in their respective areas. Appellee testified that the actual value of his land had doubled in the last five years, and, when asked on cross examination as to his basis for such testimony, stated that he primarily based the increased valuation on the action of the Federal Land Bank of St. Louis, Missouri, in doubling all of its land values in Western Arkansas in June of the preceding year. No testimony was offered to contradict this evidence. Furthermore, appellee testified that local lands similar to his land would be difficult to acquire at a price of $400.00 per acre. He admitted that this testimony was based largely on what owners were asking for their lands, no recent sales having come to his attention.

We have never held that the value testimony of owners of land being condemned is inadmissible because of limitations of the landowner in experience and background in land transactions. If such restrictions were imposed, few landowners would be permitted to testify as to their own values and as to their own claims for damages. We have therefore repeatedly held that a landowner may testify as to his own opinions concerning values before and after the taking of his land.

In Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Fowler, 240 Ark. 595, 401 S.W.2d 1 (1966), we cited with approval from 20 Am.Jur., Evidence § 892:

'It is generally recognized that the opinion testimony of the owner of property, because of his relationship as owner, is competent and admissible on the question of the value of such property, regardless of his knowledge of property values. It is not necessary to show that he was acquainted with the market value of such property or that he is an expert on values. He is deemed qualified by reason of his relationship as owner to give estimates of value of what he owns. The weight of such testimony is, of course, affected by his knowledge of the value.'

See also Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Covert, 232 Ark. 463, 338 S.W.2d 196 (1960).

We find no merit in the contention of appellant as to his Point No. 1.

Appellant's Point No. 2.

This point involves motion of appellant to strike the testimony of Jay Neal, professional land appraiser, because he gave no fair and reasonable basis for his opinions as to values....

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8 cases
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Schmoll
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • February 9, 1970
    ...to be given to his testimony. Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Fowler, 240 Ark. 595, 401 S.W.2d 1; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Drennan, 241 Ark. 94, 406 S.W.2d 327; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Maus, 245 Ark. 357, 432 S.W.2d 478. See also Arkansas Highway Commission v. ......
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Geeslin
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • November 3, 1969
    ...to be given to his testimony. Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Fowler, 240 Ark. 595, 401 S.W.2d 1; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Drennen, 241 Ark. 94, 406 S.W.2d 327; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Maus, 245 Ark. 357, 432 S.W.2d 478. In Arkansas State Highway Commission v. ......
  • Enterprise Sales Co., Inc. v. Barham
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • October 6, 1980
    ... ... No. 80-130 ... Supreme Court of Arkansas ... Oct. 6, 1980 ...         [270 Ark. 547] Clark ... Arkansas State Highway Com'n v. Maus, 245 Ark. 357, 432 S.W.2d 478; ... for the Arkansas Ecology and Pollution Control Commission, said that this was not a sewage disposal system that he ... ...
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Highfill
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • April 20, 1970
    ...lacks knowledge of market values. Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Fowler, 240 Ark. 595, 401 S.W.2d 1; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Drennan, 241 Ark. 94, 406 S.W.2d 327; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Maus, 245 Ark. 357, 432 S.W.2d 478. It would be improper if based solely......
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