Tilden v. United States, No. 2305.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. Western District of Louisiana
Writing for the CourtDAWKINS
Citation10 F. Supp. 377
Decision Date21 December 1934
Docket NumberNo. 2305.
PartiesTILDEN v. UNITED STATES.

10 F. Supp. 377

TILDEN
v.
UNITED STATES.

No. 2305.

District Court, W. D. Louisiana, Alexandria Division.

December 21, 1934.


Brian & Brian, of New Orleans, La., for plaintiff.

Philip H. Mecom, U. S. Atty., and E. A. Mottet, Asst. U. S. Atty., both of Shreveport, La.

DAWKINS, District Judge.

Plaintiff was the owner of certain lands on the south bank of Red river in Rapides parish. Early in the fall of 1928 the government engineers, in collaboration with the local levee board, decided to construct, as an emergency measure, a levee across the front of plaintiff's said lands nearest the river. The buildings and improvements were first removed by the levee board to other portions of the tract, and in September of that year the government commenced construction of the levee under authority of the Act of Congress of May 15, 1928, commonly known as the Flood Control Act (33 USCA §§ 702a-702m). There were no prior proceedings of condemnation, but simply appropriation. Some 13.23 acres of land were thus taken, and the plaintiff thereafter, on December 23, 1932, filed this suit, claiming as damages for the value of the lands, improvements, and accessories of which he had been deprived, as follows:

10 F. Supp. 378
Value of 13.23 acres of land taken at $350 per acre ................ $4,630.50 Value of 20 pecan trees destroyed or rendered valueless............ $3,000.00 Value of sundry other trees destroyed or rendered valueless ........... $1,180.00 Value of underground cistern outhouses, pens, etc. ........... $ 125.00 Value of fences destroyed ......... $ 250.00 Loss in reduction of value of remaining land from destruction of artistic surroundings.......... $1,000.00 Loss of use of Sandy Bayou for watering purposes................ $ 500.00 __________ Total amount due petitioner $10,685.50

Counsel then discovered that the demand was in excess of $10,000, the maximum jurisdiction of this court under the Tucker Act (28 USCA § 41 (20), which was the only authority for suing the government in this forum, and on January 3, 1933, amended the petition and entered a remittitur of the $1,000 claimed as the "reduction of value of remaining lands" caused by the "destruction of artistic surroundings." The government contends that the plaintiff is limited in his right of recovery to the assessed value of the property taken or destroyed, as provided by section 6 of article 16 of the state Constitution of 1921 (amended in 1928). This is the principal legal question involved; that is, as to whether plaintiff is entitled to recover the full value of the property taken or its value for taxation purposes according to the assessment of the state for the preceding year, 1927. If the former, then the court will have to review the facts and find the value, but, if the assessment controls, we need only to refer to undisputed figures.

While it is true the levee board had the improvements moved off the land, it was done, I think, to facilitate the government in its undertaking to appropriate it for levee purposes. All of the 13.23 acres have been used or occupied by the levee, borrow pits, etc., so that admittedly it has been destroyed in so far as any useful purpose to the plaintiff is concerned. The taking by the government was under its own power of eminent domain which is inherent in sovereignty. Putting aside for the present any provision of the Louisiana law,...

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6 practice notes
  • United States v. Meyer, No. 7148
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 23, 1940
    ...267, 76 L.Ed. 637; Crozier v. Fried. Krupp Aktiengesellschaft, 224 U.S. 290, 32 S.Ct. 488, 56 L.Ed. 771; Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F.Supp. 377. Defendants insist further that when the court entered the order of immediate possession, it thereby gave the Government the right to flood ......
  • United States v. GENERAL BOX COMPANY, No. 15329.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • August 5, 1955
    ...required to proceed oblivious to elements of cost'." 3 As district judge, he had written the opinion in Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F.Supp. 377, and also in Wolfe v. Hurley, D.C., 46 F.2d 515, affirmed 283 U.S. 801, 51 S.Ct. 493, 75 L.Ed. 1423, which seems to be accepted as a landmark......
  • United States v. Indian Creek Marble Co., No. 3219.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Eastern District of Tennessee
    • July 26, 1941
    ...conformity act. Wray v. Knoxville, etc., Railroad, supra; Kanakanui v. United States, 9 Cir., 244 F. 923; Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F.Supp. 377. The rule announced in this memorandum has reference to lands a part of which are actually taken, and as to a part of which easements for r......
  • Danziger v. United States, Civ. A. No. 2730.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
    • August 25, 1950
    ...existed. Dickson v. Board of Commissioners, supra. 8. The facts of the present case differ from Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F. Supp. 377 on two counts. First, in the Tilden case there was no resolution by the Levee District appropriating the property. Second, as the Act was then writt......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • United States v. Meyer, No. 7148
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (7th Circuit)
    • July 23, 1940
    ...267, 76 L.Ed. 637; Crozier v. Fried. Krupp Aktiengesellschaft, 224 U.S. 290, 32 S.Ct. 488, 56 L.Ed. 771; Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F.Supp. 377. Defendants insist further that when the court entered the order of immediate possession, it thereby gave the Government the right to flood ......
  • United States v. GENERAL BOX COMPANY, No. 15329.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (5th Circuit)
    • August 5, 1955
    ...required to proceed oblivious to elements of cost'." 3 As district judge, he had written the opinion in Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F.Supp. 377, and also in Wolfe v. Hurley, D.C., 46 F.2d 515, affirmed 283 U.S. 801, 51 S.Ct. 493, 75 L.Ed. 1423, which seems to be accepted as a landmark......
  • United States v. Indian Creek Marble Co., No. 3219.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. Eastern District of Tennessee
    • July 26, 1941
    ...conformity act. Wray v. Knoxville, etc., Railroad, supra; Kanakanui v. United States, 9 Cir., 244 F. 923; Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F.Supp. 377. The rule announced in this memorandum has reference to lands a part of which are actually taken, and as to a part of which easements for r......
  • Danziger v. United States, Civ. A. No. 2730.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 5th Circuit. United States District Court (Eastern District of Louisiana)
    • August 25, 1950
    ...existed. Dickson v. Board of Commissioners, supra. 8. The facts of the present case differ from Tilden v. United States, D.C., 10 F. Supp. 377 on two counts. First, in the Tilden case there was no resolution by the Levee District appropriating the property. Second, as the Act was then writt......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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