State Rd. Comm'n v. Coogle

Decision Date03 December 1929
Docket Number(No. 6260)
Citation108 W.Va. 287
CourtWest Virginia Supreme Court
PartiesState Road Commission v. Ella Coogle, Admx., et als.

1. Eminent Domain Presumption is That "Class A" County Road, for Which Damages Were Paid to Owner, Was Intended to be UO Feet Wide (Acts 1917, c. 66, § 20).

Section 20, Chapter 66 of the Acts of the Legislature of 1917 fixed the width of main county roads, designated as "Class A" roads, at forty feet, with necessary slopes for cuts and fills. Where a county court, subsequent to the date the said statute became effective, entered upon the lands of an individual for the purpose of widening and reconstructing such road and paid damages therefor as fixed and determined by arbitrators, it is to be presumed that the parties in interest contemplated a right-of-way forty feet in width as fixed by statute, (p. 290.)

(Highways, 29 C. J. § 135, p. 459, N. 2.)

2. Same State Road Commission in Control of "Class A" County Road Through Private Lands is Entitled to Occupy Right of Way 40 Feet Wide (Acts 1917, c. 66, § 20). A case wherein the county court having paid to a property owner damages awarded by arbitrators incident to the widening and reconstruction of a "Class A" road along the land of such owner and in part thereon, the State Road Commission, as the successor of the county court in the control of such road, is entitled to occupy a right-of-way forty feet in width, and to have such right judicially determined, (p. 290.) (Highways, 29 C. J. § 135, p. 459, N. 2.)

(Note: Parenthetical references, by Editors, C. j. Cyc. Not part of Syllabi.)

Appeal from Circuit Court, Marion County.

Suit by the State Road Commission against Ella Coogle, administratrix of B. C. Coogle, deceased, and others. Decree for defendants, and plaintiff appeals, and moves for reversal.

Reversed and rendered.

Howard, B. Lee, Attorney General, R. Dennis Steed, Assistant Attorney General, and Marshall W. Ogden, Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, for appellant.

George M. Ralphsnyder, Charles W. Brandon, and Victor II. Shaw, for appellees.

Maxwell, Judge:

This case comes on motion to reverse a decree of the circuit court of Marion county rendered on the 6th day of February, 1928, against appellant, the State Road Commission. The suit is for specific performance of an alleged parol contract.

In the early fall of 1917 the county court of Marion county entered upon and appropriated a portion of the land of B. C. Coogle at Rivesville in said county and re-located and constructed thereon for a distance of about two hundred and forty-seven feet a hard surface highway, the same being on the route from Fairmont to Morgantown. There was no condemnation.

On the 4th of April, 1921, Coogle instituted an action of assumpsit against the county court for $5,000.00 for the land so taken and damages to the residue. The declaration was filed at May Rules, 1921, and the suit was regularly matured for trial.

The following allegation appears in his declaration: "Plaintiff further avers that * * * the said defendant * * * entered upon said land of the plaintiff * * * took possession of a large part of plaintiff's said land, to-wit, a strip of land about fifty feet wide and about three hundred feet long, immediately in front of plaintiff's said store room and dwelling house, and extending the full length of plaintiff's said lot where the same abuts on said Morgantown and Fa inn out Turnpike road, and did thereby appropriate to the use of said defendant and to the use of the public said strip of land * * *."

On the 24th of August, 1921, the State Road Commission entered an order taking over this road as part of the road system of the State.

On the 17th of June, 1922, the parties in interest entered into an agreement to arbitrate the claim asserted in plaintiff's declaration. Accordingly, on the 27th of June, 1922, orders were entered by the county court and by the circuit court whereby it was stipulated that the said matters should be referred to and decided by Charles E. Manley, A. (1. Martin and John S. Phillips, arbitrators, who were selected and appointed for the purpose. In the said order of the circuit court it was provided: *' Said arbitrators shall ascertain what is a fair and just compensation to be paid by the defendant to the plaintiff and for the land taken by the defendant, described in said declaration, together with damages, if any, to the residue of the lands including improvements thereon of the plaintiff, by reason of the taking of said land by the defendant * * * and shall then thereto add interest thereon at the rate of six per cent, per annum from the time of the taking and damaging of the same to the date of their report and award, * *

These arbitrators, after being qualified, went upon the land and on the 25th of July following made their report in writing in which they found that a fair and just compensation to plaintiff for the land taken and damaged was $2,066.66, which, with interest from the time of the taking of the land, amounted to $2,670.23. The circuit court confirmed this report and gave judgment thereon. The county court paid said sum to B. C. Coogle.

B. C. Coogle died in 1922 or 1923 and in due time a suit was brought by Ella C. Coogle, his administratrix, to settle his estate. A survey of the land was made under the direction and supervision of George M. Ralphsnyder, special commissioner, appointed by the court as such to make sale of the land. Included in the property advertised for sale was the land adjacent to the hard surface of the road before mentioned, and involved serious encroachment upon the forty foot right of way claimed by the county court and its successor, the State Road Commission, by reason of the award of the arbitrators before mentioned. The county court, therefore, tiled its petition in said chancery cause and asserted its said claim, but the court denied relief upon the petition. Whereupon, the State Road Commission instituted this suit at April Rules, 1926. The purpose of the suit is to obtain a deed...

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7 cases
  • Hark v. Mountain Fork Lumber Co.
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • March 10, 1945
    ... ... underlying are undeveloped. A secondary state road passes ... through and along the easterly line of the land for a ... distance of about 440 ... v. E. C. Minter Coal Co., 103 W.Va. 386, 137 S.E. 754; ... see State Road Comm. v. Coogle, 108 W.Va. 287, 291, ... 150 S.E. 719. Here the undisputed facts of public use and ... ...
  • Malamphy v. Potomac Edison Co.
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • October 12, 1954
    ... ... Code, 17-1-3; Raleigh County Court v. E. C. Minter Coal Co., 103 W.Va. 386, 137 S.E. 754; State Road Comm. v. Coogle, 108 W.Va. 287, 291, ... 150 S.E. 719; Hark v. Mountain Fork Lumber Co., 127 ... ...
  • Childers. v. State Rd. Comm'r
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • March 31, 1942
    ...of the highway, the width thereof, at the date of the alleged dedication, is presumed by law to be forty feet. Road Commission v. Coogle, 108 W. Va. 287, 150 S. E. 719, Code 1923, Chapter 43, Section 19. County Court of Raleigh County v. Coal Co., 103 W. Va. 386, 137 S. E. 754, is authority......
  • Childers v. State Road Com'r
    • United States
    • West Virginia Supreme Court
    • March 31, 1942
    ... ... of the alleged dedication, is presumed by law to be 40 feet ... State Road Commission v. Coogle, 108 W.Va. 287, 150 ... S.E. 719; Code 1923, Chapter 43, Section 19. County Court ... of Raleigh County v. E. C. Minter Coal Co., 103 W.Va ... ...
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