State v. Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, Loyal Order of Moose, No. 5294

CourtSupreme Court of Alaska (US)
Writing for the CourtBefore RABINOWITZ; PER CURIAM
Citation633 P.2d 1378
Decision Date02 October 1981
Docket NumberNo. 5294
PartiesSTATE of Alaska, Appellant, v. FAIRBANKS LODGE NO. 1392, LOYAL ORDER OF MOOSE, Appellee.

Page 1378

633 P.2d 1378
STATE of Alaska, Appellant,
v.
FAIRBANKS LODGE NO. 1392, LOYAL ORDER OF MOOSE, Appellee.
No. 5294.
Supreme Court of Alaska.
Oct. 2, 1981.

William R. Satterberg, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Fairbanks and Wilson L. Condon, Atty. Gen., Juneau, for appellant.

Doris Loennig, Fairbanks, for appellee.

Before RABINOWITZ, C. J., and CONNOR, BURKE, MATTHEWS and COMPTON, JJ.

Page 1379

OPINION

PER CURIAM.

Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, Loyal Order of the Moose (Lodge), brought an action for inverse condemnation against the state to recover compensation for a parcel of land located in Tract A of the original Fairbanks townsite used by the state in a 1974 highway project. The state claimed that the land in question had been dedicated to public use in 1957 by two plat maps recorded in November of that year, and thus no compensation needed to be paid. The Lodge moved for partial summary judgment on the issue of the legal effect of one of those plats. The motion was granted, leading to the entry of a stipulated judgment against the state, which reserved its right to appeal the court's ruling. This appeal followed.

The Lodge's predecessor in interest to Tract A was Independent Lumber, Inc. Charles Ellis, president of Independent Lumber in 1957, testified that he and two other Fairbanks entrepreneurs planned to subdivide the tract into building lots. The developers were unable to obtain financing, however, and as a result the plan was abandoned a year later.

Before the plan was dropped, two plat maps were filed with the Fairbanks District Recorder's Office concerning Tract A and an adjacent block of land also owned by Independent Lumber. One of these, Document No. 176266, is a map of Tract A and the adjacent block, which divides Tract A and the block into lots and shows the location of proposed streets. A boxed caption in the lower right hand corner of the document states "Subdivision of a Portion Tract A." Above this box is what purports to be a grant to the City of Fairbanks of an easement for sewer lines on "that portion of Tract A ... shown on this plat as being part of the streets and rights-of-way of this proposed subdivision of a portion of Tract A." 1

When preparing for its highway project, the state took various portions of the Lodge's property. The state compensated the Lodge for all but those portions marked as streets in Tract A on Document No. 176266. The state claims that the recordation of the plat dedicated that land to public use. The Lodge contends that the land was not in fact dedicated to public use and the Lodge is therefore entitled to compensation for the taking by the state.

The state argues that the dedication is implicit from the recordation of the plat maps and that formal defects in the recorded documents do not affect the validity of the dedication. See AS 34.25.030(a). The state further argues that the plats have been recorded for more than twenty years and it would be inequitable to deny that they created rights in the state.

The Lodge responds that before the recordation of a plat map can implicitly dedicate land to public use the plat must be approved by local government agencies. AS 40.15.030 provides:

When an area is subdivided and a plat of the subdivision is approved and recorded, all streets, alleys, thoroughfares, parks and...

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3 practice notes
  • McCarrey v. Kaylor, No. S–14114.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • March 29, 2013
    ...1119 (Alaska 2007))). 51.Swift v. Kniffen, 706 P.2d 296, 301 (Alaska 1985). 52.State v. Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, Loyal Order of Moose, 633 P.2d 1378, 1380 (Alaska 1981) (citing Litvak v. Sunderland, 143 Colo. 347, 353 P.2d 381, 384 (1960); City of Carlsbad v. Neal, 56 N.M. 465, 245 P.2d 38......
  • Swift v. Kniffen, No. S-364
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • September 13, 1985
    ...purpose." Hamerly Page 301 v. Denton, 359 P.2d 121 (Alaska 1961); see also State v. Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, Loyal Order of Moose, 633 P.2d 1378 (Alaska 1981); Olson v. McRae, 389 P.2d 576 (Alaska 1964). There are two essential elements of a common law dedication: (1) an owner's offer of d......
  • SAFEWAY, INC. v. STATE DEPT. OF TRANSP., No. S-9009.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • November 2, 2001
    ...road system, and having done so, may by its own order discontinue such road). 11. AS 19.05.040(4). 12. State v. Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, 633 P.2d 1378, 1380 (Alaska 13. See generally Roger Cunningham et al., The Law of Property § 11.6 (2d ed. 1993) ("Much less formal behavior [than a forma......
3 cases
  • McCarrey v. Kaylor, No. S–14114.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • March 29, 2013
    ...1119 (Alaska 2007))). 51.Swift v. Kniffen, 706 P.2d 296, 301 (Alaska 1985). 52.State v. Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, Loyal Order of Moose, 633 P.2d 1378, 1380 (Alaska 1981) (citing Litvak v. Sunderland, 143 Colo. 347, 353 P.2d 381, 384 (1960); City of Carlsbad v. Neal, 56 N.M. 465, 245 P.2d 38......
  • Swift v. Kniffen, No. S-364
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • September 13, 1985
    ...purpose." Hamerly Page 301 v. Denton, 359 P.2d 121 (Alaska 1961); see also State v. Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, Loyal Order of Moose, 633 P.2d 1378 (Alaska 1981); Olson v. McRae, 389 P.2d 576 (Alaska 1964). There are two essential elements of a common law dedication: (1) an owner's offer of d......
  • SAFEWAY, INC. v. STATE DEPT. OF TRANSP., No. S-9009.
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alaska (US)
    • November 2, 2001
    ...road system, and having done so, may by its own order discontinue such road). 11. AS 19.05.040(4). 12. State v. Fairbanks Lodge No. 1392, 633 P.2d 1378, 1380 (Alaska 13. See generally Roger Cunningham et al., The Law of Property § 11.6 (2d ed. 1993) ("Much less formal behavior [than a forma......

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