Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Clark, 5--4965

Decision Date22 September 1969
Docket NumberNo. 5--4965,5--4965
Citation247 Ark. 165,444 S.W.2d 702
PartiesARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION, Appellant, v. Guy Lee CLARK et ux., Appellees.
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Thomas B. Keys, and Billy Pease, Little Rock, for appellant.

Felver A. Rowell, Jr., Morrilton, for appellees.

FOGLEMAN, Justice.

The question involved on this appeal is whether there is substantial evidence to sustain a verdict awarding appellees $5,000 for the taking of 5.76 acres of their 40-acre tract for the construction of a controlled-access highway. Appellant contends that neither the testimony of Guy Lee Clark, one of the landowners, nor that of Forrest Griswood, an expert witness for appellees, constituted substantial evidence. We find that the testimony was sufficient to support the verdict.

The tract lay one mile east and one mile south of Menifee. It was unimproved and constituted a part of a cattle operation conducted by appellees. It was used as a pasture. There was access to the property by a graded dirt road leading to the northwest corner. This access is severed by the new highway. After the taking 1.12 acres remained north and east of the right-of-way and 33.13 acres south and west thereof. It is conceded that the south residual is without access. Expert witnesses for both appellant and appellees state that the value after the taking depends upon possible sale of the remaining lands to adjoining owners. Testimony on the value of the whole tract before the taking ranges from Clark's opinion of $8,000 and those of appellant's appraisers of $3,000. Opinions of values after the taking range from Griswood's figure of $1,712 down to Clark's $750. Appellant's witnesses fixed this value at $1,000 and $1,050, respectively.

The qualifications of Forrest Griswood, manager of Central Arkansas Production Credit Association for 10 1/2 years, are not attacked. He described the tract as upland woodland having a highest and best use as pasture for livestock. He stated that 20 head of cattle, or a cow to every two acres, could be 'run' on this tract before the taking. He said that there was a small pond upon the tract. The grass on the land was native.

Griswood testified that the value of the whole tract on March 30, 1966, was $5,000 or $125 per acre. He valued the residual tracts at $50 per acre. This indicated just compensation to be $3,288. Appellant says that this testimony was not substantial because the sales upon which Griswood relied were not comparable.

Griswood referred to sales of wooded pasture near Plumerville. One of them, made in May 1966, was from Marks to Poteete. This tract located on Highway 64 consisted of 120 acres of land about 1 1/4 miles south and west of Plumerville. Roughly, 75 acres were open and the remainder woods and brush. He said the transaction was a forced sale handled by him through the association by which he was employed. The total consideration was $15,000, of which he estimated that the land brought $10,000 or $83.33 per acre after deducting $5,000 for a house and barn on the property. Another was the 1963 sale by Nisler to Davidson of 159 acres for $21,000 or $138 per acre. This acreage was four miles north of Plumerville on Highway 92. After allowing for improvements, he felt that the land brought approximately $15,000, or about $94 per acre. This tract consisted of 80 percent open pastureland with a good pond. It had improvements and better access quality than the lands of appellees. In this respect Griswood admitted that this sale could not be called comparable to the Clark land.

Still another sale considered by Griswood was that of 80 acres 1 1/2 miles east of Plumerville by one Thomas to a buyer named Stobaugh in April 1966. It was partially open and partially wooded pasture-land, having no improvements except a small house which he valued at $200 to $300. Even though this tract was located on Highway 64, it was his opinion that the highway frontage at this point was not desirable for home sites and no more valuable than the rest of the land. He conceded that level land, such as this, and land on a paved highway were more valuable than land like that of appellees.

In determining comparability of sales we must always remember that no two tracts of land are identical and that the court must allow reasonable latitude in evaluating sales. Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Sargent, 241 Ark. 783, 410 S.W.2d 381; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Duff, 246 Ark. 922, 440 S.W.2d 563. In determining substantiality of the evidence to support a verdict, we review the testimony in the light most favorable to appellees and indulge all reasonable inferences in favor of the judgment. Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Carder, 228 Ark. 8, 305 S.W.2d 330; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Sargent, supra. Assuming, without deciding, that the first two sales were not sufficiently comparable to the Clark lands to afford a reasonable basis for the value testimony of this witness, we cannot say that the Thomas-Stobaugh transaction was shown to be so dissimilar as to afford no basis for the testimony of this witness. It was incumbent upon appellant to show that a witness competent to testify as to land values has no reasonable basis...

To continue reading

Request your trial
11 cases
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Ormond, 5--5021
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • December 22, 1969
    ...922, 440 S.W.2d 563; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Sargent, 241 Ark. 783, 410 S.W.2d 381; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Clark, 247 Ark. ---, 444 S.W.2d 702 (September 22, 1969). We also have repeatedly said that there are many factors to be considered in determining comparabil......
  • Arkansas Louisiana Gas Co. v. McGaughey Bros., Inc., 5--5581
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • June 28, 1971
    ...the testimony of any such witness was insubstantial because of his lack of knowledge of comparable sales. Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Clark, 247 Ark. 165, 444 S.W.2d 702. Appellant states that the reasons given by some of the witnesses for the reduction in value of appellee's remai......
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Dean, 5--5032
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • December 1, 1969
    ...Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Stobaugh, 247 Ark. --- (September 29, 1969), 445 S.W.2d 511; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Clark, 247 Ark. --- (September 22, 1969), 444 S.W.2d 702; Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Sargent, 241 Ark. 783, 410 S.W.2d 381. In an effort to meet t......
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Geeslin
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • November 3, 1969
    ...reasonable basis for the opinions given by an expert. I do not so construe our cases. See, e.g., Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Clark, 247 Ark. ---, 444 S.W.2d 702 (September 22, 1969); Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Stobaugh, 247 Ark. ---, 445 S.W.2d 511 (September 29, 1969). T......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT