Petition for Construction of a Lateral, In re, No. 37648

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Writing for the CourtKNUTSON
Citation256 Minn. 450,99 N.W.2d 63
PartiesPETITION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A LATERAL TO CONNECT WITH JUDICIAL DITCH NO. 7 OF MARTIN AND FARIBAULT COUNTIES, Minnesota. James F. SMITH et al., Appellants, v. Adolph F. LAUE et al., objectors, Respondents.
Decision Date23 October 1959
Docket NumberNo. 37648

Page 63

99 N.W.2d 63
256 Minn. 450
PETITION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF A LATERAL TO CONNECT WITH
JUDICIAL DITCH NO. 7 OF MARTIN AND FARIBAULT
COUNTIES, Minnesota.
James F. SMITH et al., Appellants,
v.
Adolph F. LAUE et al., objectors, Respondents.
No. 37648.
Supreme Court of Minnesota.
Oct. 23, 1959.

Syllabus by the Court

[256 MINN 450] 1. Statutory construction lies wholly in the domain of ambiguity. If there is no ambiguity there is no need for construction. Where the words used in the statute are clear and free from ambiguity the language used by the legislature must be given its ordinary and usual meaning.

2. When the legislature by the 1953 amendment to M.S.A. 106.521 changed the wording from lands 'affected by' the lateral to lands to be 'drained by' the lateral, it meant that the lands must be actually drained rather than merely affected by the lateral.

Putnam & Spencer, Rector H. Putnam, Blue Earth, for appellants.

Edman & Edman, A. T. Edman, Fairmont, for respondents.

Page 64

KNUTSON, Justice.

Appeal from an order of the district court.

The only legal issue raised on this appeal is: In a proceeding for the construction of a lateral to a public ditch running into two counties, where the lateral is designed to drain lands lying only in one county, does jurisdiction lie with the district court or with the county board?

Appellants assign as error that the trial court erred in dismissing the [256 MINN 451] petition on the grounds that the district court is without jurisdiction to establish a lateral in this proceeding.

The statement of facts as outlined by both parties in their briefs is as follows: Judicial Ditch No. 7 of Martin and Faribault Counties runs into two counties, Martin and Faribault. The present petition is for the construction of a lateral to drain certain lands in Faribault County into the judicial ditch. Proceedings leading up to preliminary hearing were held. After the hearing the court dismissed the petition and stated in its order:

'It appearing to the Court that all of the land in Minnesota to be drained by the proposed lateral is situated in Faribault County and that the County Board of Faribault County, rather than the District Court, has jurisdiction of the proceedings,

'It is ordered that the petition herein be, and the same hereby is, in all things, dismissed.'

This is the second time that the precise facts in this controversy have been before this court. In In re Petition for Construction of Lateral to...

To continue reading

Request your trial

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