Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Rhodes, 5--3815

Decision Date04 April 1966
Docket NumberNo. 5--3815,5--3815
Citation240 Ark. 565,401 S.W.2d 558
PartiesARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY COMMISSION, Appellant, v. Billy RHODES et ux., Appellees.
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Mark E. Woolsey and Don Langston, Little Rock, for appellant.

Clark, Clark & Clark, Conway, Howell, Price & Worsham, Little Rock, for appellees.

McFADDIN, Justice.

This is another eminent domain proceeding brought by the appellant, Arkansas State Highway Commission, to obtain right of way for Interstate 40 from Little Rock to Conway. The land here condemned was 86/100ths of an acre out of a four-acre tract owned by the appellees; but the land taken was through the center of the Gold Creek Landing on Lake Conway, where was situated a boat dock and accompanying facilities. The appellant valued the property taken and the accompanying damage at $19,000.00. The landowners claimed a much greater amount. Trial to a jury resulted in a verdict and judgment for the landowners for $45,000.00; and appellant prosecutes this appeal, urging a number of points for reversal.

I.

The appellees introduced a model about 4 feet by 6 feet in size, seeking to depict the location of the Gold Creek Landing on Lake Conway, the present highway, the landowners' facilities, and the effect of the proposed taking on the landowners' facilities. On the model the vertical items, such as trees, buildings, fences, and telephone poles, were not on the same scale as the horizontal items. The appellant unsuccessfully objected to the introduction of this model. We see no merit to this objection. The witness who prepared the model carefully explained the scale matters. There was nothing misleading. Besides, there were a number of enlarged aerial photographs introduced, and these, along with the model, were designed and apparently did give the jury a thorough understanding of the situation. Furthermore, at the conclusion of all the evidence the jury viewed the locality; so certainly the model did not mislead anyone.

II.

The appellant has several points aimed at the testimony of the landowners' witness, Russell McLean, who testified that he was a real estate appraiser of 25 years experience, and that he had carefully examined and appraised the Gold Creek Landing of the appellees. He gave as his opinion that the fair market value of the property as of the date of the taking was $85,000.00; and that the value of the property after the taking was $12,000.00. In showing his familiarity with the property and its value the witness discussed the sale of another boat landing, known as Sport Haven, which had sold in 1954 for $60,000.00, and in 1958 for $85,000.00; and then the witness stated that the Sport Haven Landing property was not as valuable as the Gold Creek Landing property and so was of little benefit in aiding him in arriving at values. The appellant objected to the comparison with the Sport Haven property because of dissimilarity.

Then the witness McLean testified as to the previous sales of the Gold Creek Landing property. He showed that in 1959 Gold Creek Landing sold for $57,500.00; in 1960 for $75,000.00; and that Mr. Rhodes, the present owner, bought the property in 1960 for $82,000.00. The appellant conceded that previous sales of the same property would be admissible if the sales were recent in point of time; but contends that these sales were not proper to take into consideration because they were not for cash and in some instances another tract of property was conveyed as a part of the purchase price. Appellant cites us, inter alia, to the Ohio case of Tenn. Gas Trans. v. Matteri, Ohio App., 144 N.E.2d 123; the federal case of United States v. Leavell & Ponder Inc., 5 Cir., 286 F.2d 398; and the Pennsylvania case of Goodman v. City of Bethlehem, 323 Pa. 58, 185 A. 719; each as holding that where property was purchased, not for cash, but was traded for other real estate, such sale is inadmissible because it would involve investigation into the value of the traded property.

For the reasons now stated, we are not impressed by appellant's argument. When a parcel of land is taken by eminent domain, the price which the owner paid for it when he recently acquired it is one of the important bits of evidence to determine the value of the property. Ark. State Hwy. Comm. v. Snowden, 233 Ark. 565, 345 S.W.2d 917. The witness carefully explained to the jury that in the 1959 sale for $57,500.00, the purchase price had been $10,000.00 cash and a mortgage for $47,500.00. This certainly made the 1959 sale in all respects admissible. In each of the subsequent sales there was the assumption of the said mortgage and also the conveyance of other property. This was all explained by the witness; so if we start with the 1959 sale of $57,500.00 and deduct from that value the witness' testimony of $12,500.00 as the present value of the property, we find the jury verdict was almost in accordance with this testimony. The witness McLean carefully explained to the jury that he had not examined the traded property, so the jury could not have been misled.

Furthermore, one of the witnesses called by the appellee was the witness Sawyer; and on cross examination appellant's counsel developed all the evidence regarding these sales of the Gold Creek Landing and Sports Haven Landing. When the appellant brought out such testimony on cross examination, any ruling regarding the McLean testimony was rendered harmless. Under the circumstances in this case, we see no harmful error to have been committed.

III.

The appellant urges that the Trial Court refused to permit appellant's witness, Bryan McArthur, to testify as to sales of similar property in the area. This would give us most serious concern, except for the condition of the record. The witness, Bryan McArthur, called by the Highway Commission, testified that he had made a careful inspection of the Gold Creek Landing and that before the taking the property was worth $46,000.00, and after the taking the property was worth $27,500.00. He testified that in considering the value of the property he compared its value with...

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6 cases
  • City of Tucson v. LaForge
    • United States
    • Arizona Court of Appeals
    • October 29, 1968
    ...to mislead the jury, use of a model is permissible even though it is not a facsimile in every detail. Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Rhodes, 240 Ark. 565, 401 S.W.2d 558 (1966). Here the jury was fully aware of the fact that the axles were stationary, hence we cannot say that they wer......
  • State v. Woodbury
    • United States
    • Maine Supreme Court
    • June 29, 1979
    ...exposed on cross-examination. See, e. g., Grandquest v. Williams, 273 Ala. 140, 135 So.2d 391 (1961); Arkansas State Highway Comm'n v. Rhodes, 240 Ark. 565, 401 S.W.2d 558 (1966); Mississippi Road Supply Co. v. Baker, 199 So.2d 820 In the case at bar, although Detective Hathaway conceded on......
  • Cozart v. State, CA CR 08-399 (Ark. App. 2/11/2009)
    • United States
    • Arkansas Court of Appeals
    • February 11, 2009
    ...of models is an important factor when evaluating the appropriateness of using models as evidence. See Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Rhodes, 240 Ark. 565, 401 S.W.2d 558 (1966). She is also correct that extraneous evidence may not be considered by a jury; however, a jury may use props......
  • Surfside of Brevard, Inc. v. United States
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • August 11, 1969
    ...en banc. 7 United States v. Certain Parcels of Land, 144 F.2d 626, 630, 155 A.L.R. 253 (3d Cir. 1944); Arkansas State Hwy. Comm. v. Rhodes, 240 Ark. 565, 401 S.W.2d 558, 560 (1966); Bartlett v. Medford, 252 Mass. 311, 147 N.E. 739 (1925); 5 Nichols, Eminent Domain § 21.1 (4th ed. 1962); Org......
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12 books & journal articles
  • Table of Cases
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Is It Admissible? - 2015 Part IV - Demonstrative Evidence
    • July 31, 2015
    ...47.700 Arkansas Amusement Corp. v. Ward, 204 Ark. 130, 161 S.W.2d, 178 (1942), §49.200 Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Rhodes, 401 S.W.2d 558, (Ark. 1966), §41.200 Arkla, Inc. v. Harris, 846 S.W.2d 623 (Tex.App. 1993), §9.501 Arkwright v. Taulbee, 546 S.E.2d 335, 208 Ga.App. 219 (2001)......
  • Table of Cases
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Is It Admissible? - 2014 Part IV - Demonstrative Evidence
    • July 31, 2014
    ...47.700 Arkansas Amusement Corp. v. Ward, 204 Ark. 130, 161 S.W.2d, 178 (1942), §49.200 Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Rhodes, 401 S.W.2d 558, (Ark. 1966), §41.200 Arkla, Inc. v. Harris, 846 S.W.2d 623 (Tex.App. 1993), §9.501 Arkwright v. Taulbee, 546 S.E.2d 335, 208 Ga.App. 219 (2001)......
  • Table of Cases
    • United States
    • August 2, 2016
    ...47.700 Arkansas Amusement Corp. v. Ward, 204 Ark. 130, 161 S.W.2d, 178 (1942), §49.200 Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Rhodes, 401 S.W.2d 558, (Ark. 1966), §41.200 Arkla, Inc. v. Harris, 846 S.W.2d 623 (Tex.App. 1993), §9.501 Arkwright v. Taulbee, 546 S.E.2d 335, 208 Ga.App. 219 (2001)......
  • Models
    • United States
    • James Publishing Practical Law Books Archive Is It Admissible? - 2021 Demonstrative evidence
    • August 2, 2021
    ...., 782 P.2d 827 (Colo. 1989); Dawson v. Mazda Motors of America , 517 So.2d 283 (La. 1987); Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Rhodes , 401 S.W.2d 558 (Ark. 1966); Finch v. W.R. Roach Co ., 295 Mich. 589, 295 N.W. 324 (1940). Preston ex rel. Preston v. Simmons, 254 Ill.Dec. 647, 747 N.E.2......
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