Ball v. Independence County

Decision Date21 February 1949
Docket Number4-8742
Citation217 S.W.2d 913,214 Ark. 694
PartiesBall v. Independence County
CourtArkansas Supreme Court

Rehearing Denied March 21, 1949.

Appeal from Independence Circuit Court; S. M. Bone, Judge.


R W. Tucker, for appellant.

Millard G. Hardin and W. M. Thompson, for appellee.


Holt J.

The four appellants filed separate claims for alleged damages occasioned by the condemning and taking of portions of their land by Independence County, appellee, for the construction of a paved highway to replace a gravel road from Batesville to Cave City. All of these claims were disallowed by the County Court and appeals prosecuted to the Circuit Court, where the cases were consolidated and tried together. Separate verdicts were returned in each case in favor of the County, and from the judgment pronounced thereon is this appeal.

The highway in question here, State Highway No. 11, as indicated, ran from Batesville to Cave City, and appellants insist that they received no new or special benefits from the relocation, reconstruction and paving of this gravel road and that they had been damaged far more than benefits received.

We have many times announced the guiding rule in determining the recoverable elements of damages for lands taken for highway purposes.

Section 6962, Pope's Digest, provides in part: "Any court or jury considering claims for right of way damages shall deduct from the value of any land taken for a right of way the benefits of said state highway to the remaining lands of the owner."

In Herndon v. Pulaski County, 196 Ark. 284, 117 S.W.2d 1051, we said: "The insistence is that there were no benefits which were local, peculiar and special to plaintiff's lands, but that such benefits as were derived from the new road were common to and were generally shared by other lands in the vicinity. This, was, of course, a question of fact. It was shown to be true that other owners, no portion of whose lands had been taken for the new road, received the same benefits which plaintiff derived; but this does not prove that plaintiff has not received special benefits to her lands. The fact that other owners have received special benefits without loss of land or other cost to them does not prove that plaintiff has not received special benefits. The other beneficiaries of the change of location of the road are not asking damages. If they were asking and had prayed damages it would then, in that event, be proper to offset their special benefits against their damages. . . .

"'The view which seems to us to accord with reason, and which is supported by high authority, is that where the public use for which a portion of a man's land is taken, so enhances the value of the remainder as to make it of greater value than the whole was before the taking, the owner in such case has received just compensation in benefits. And the benefits which will be thus considered must be those which are local, peculiar, and special to the owner's land who has been required to yield a portion pro bono publico.'"

A large number of witnesses testified. Their testimony was conflicting. However, there was testimony by competent witnesses to the effect that the change from a gravel to a paved road had greatly enhanced appellants' land not taken by condemnation, and that all of their lands had received special benefits.

On appeal here, we do not determine where the preponderance of the evidence rested. What we do determine is whether there was any substantial evidence to support the jury's verdicts. We think there was.

Appellants argue that the testimony of witnesses, Stroud, Tugwell, Inman, Meachum and Hess, was improperly admitted for the reason, as they say: "It is . . . clear that the opinion of these witnesses as to the increased value of appellants' farms since construction of the new road was based in part, at least, if not wholly on general benefits, and not on special benefits accruing to them. . . . There is no evidence of any kind showing that these appellants received any special benefits accruing to their particular farm." We cannot agree.

A similar contention was made in the case of Cate v Crawford County, 176 Ark. 873, 4 S.W.2d 516, and we there said: "It is next insisted by counsel for appellant that the benefits testified to...

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5 cases
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Brewer
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • February 28, 1966
    ...upon which the opinion is based.' See, also, Arkansas Power & Light Co. v. Morris, 221 Ark. 576, 254 S.W.2d 684; Ball v. Independence County, 214 Ark. 694, 217 S.W.2d 913, and Housing Authority of City of Little Rock, Ark. v. Winston, 226 Ark. 1037, 295 S.W.2d In the case at bar the witness......
  • Koelsch v. Arkansas State Highway Commission, 5-382
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • April 19, 1954
    ...does not cease to be special even though other property along the new road receives benefits from the road. In Ball v. Independence County, 214 Ark. 694, 217 S.W.2d 913, this court approved an instruction which stated that special benefits include both neighborhood and peculiar benefits, an......
  • Arkansas State Highway Commission v. Pullen, 5--4398
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • December 18, 1967 an aid to the jury in awarding just compensation. Puryear v. Puryear, supra; Bridgman v. Baxter County, supra; Ball v. Independence County, 214 Ark. 694, 217 S.W.2d 913. We will not reverse the action of the trial judge in the exercise of his discretion in the matter unless there has bee......
  • Hogan v. Bright
    • United States
    • Arkansas Supreme Court
    • February 21, 1949
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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