Northern Alabama R. Co. v. Mitchell

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Citation88 So. 558,205 Ala. 448
Docket Number8 Div. 292
Decision Date07 April 1921

88 So. 558

205 Ala. 448


8 Div. 292

Supreme Court of Alabama

April 7, 1921

Appeal from Circuit Court, Franklin County; C.P. Almon, Judge.

Bill by J.E. Mitchell against the Northern Alabama Railroad Company to enjoin the obstruction of a ditch or drain. From a decree overruling demurrers to the bill, defendant appeals. Reversed, rendered, and remanded.

William L. Chenault, of Russellville, for appellant.

Travis Williams, of Russellville, for appellee.


The complainant, J.E. Mitchell, files this bill in equity to enjoin defendant from maintaining a bridge or covering for a ditch on its right of way, and requiring it to deepen and enlarge the ditch, so it will carry off all the surface water without injury to his property adjoining; that by the filling up of the ditch, and said bridge being over it, the adjoining property of complainant is flooded and is injured thereby, and claiming damages therefor. Defendant demurs to the bill. The court below overruled the demurrers, and this is assigned as error.

In town of Russellville, Ala., the complainant owns two lots adjoining the right of way of the defendant for about 296 feet; complainant has his residence and a livery stable on his lot; the dwelling and the stables are within a few feet of the land of defendant. The defendant has its passenger and freight station, its main line of railroad, and one or two side tracks on its right of way, joining complainant's lot. The bill avers:

"Both lots of complainant and right of way of the North Alabama Railway Company are comparatively level and rather low, being subservient to a large water-flow from dominant lands and streets to the north and west."

It does not show who owns "the dominant lands and streets to the north and west." It does not aver that defendant's right of way is subservient to his lot as to drainage, but says "both are comparatively level and rather low." It looks like neither is subservient to the other; but that they are "on a level. It appears from this that neither should drain the other, but that each should [88 So. 559.] do his own share of the draining of the "large water flow from dominant lands and streets to the north and west." The bill states:

"There was a natural drainway or branch along the right of way of said railway company and some 10 or 15 feet east of the dividing line between complainant's property and said railway company, or if the

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