United States v. Birnbach, No. 18846

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
Writing for the CourtVOGEL, BLACKMUN and LAY, Circuit
Docket NumberNo. 18846,18855.
PartiesUNITED STATES of America, Appellant, v. Leila Brown BIRNBACH, Louise Evans, Peggy Ann Porter, Faith Brown Grice, Kuhl T. Brown, Jr., Kuhl T. Brown, Sr., and Lucile Brown, Appellees. Leila Brown BIRNBACH, Louise Evans, Peggy Ann Porter, Faith Brown Grice, Kuhl T. Brown, Jr., Kuhl T. Brown, Sr., and Lucile Brown, Appellants, v. UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.
Decision Date16 September 1968

400 F.2d 378 (1968)

UNITED STATES of America, Appellant,
v.
Leila Brown BIRNBACH, Louise Evans, Peggy Ann Porter, Faith Brown Grice, Kuhl T. Brown, Jr., Kuhl T. Brown, Sr., and Lucile Brown, Appellees.

Leila Brown BIRNBACH, Louise Evans, Peggy Ann Porter, Faith Brown Grice, Kuhl T. Brown, Jr., Kuhl T. Brown, Sr., and Lucile Brown, Appellants,
v.
UNITED STATES of America, Appellee.

Nos. 18846, 18855.

United States Court of Appeals Eighth Circuit.

September 16, 1968.


400 F.2d 379

Frank B. Friedman, Attorney, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C., for the United States of America; Edwin L. Weisl, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen., Department of Justice, Washington, D. C., Roger P. Marquis, Attorney, Department of Justice, Washington, D. C., and W. H. McClellan, U. S. Atty., Little Rock, Ark., on the brief.

Leon B. Catlett, Frank B. Catlett & Henderson, Little Rock, Ark., for Leila Brown Birnbach et al.; M. D. Bowers, Little Rock, Ark., on the brief.

Before VOGEL, BLACKMUN and LAY, Circuit Judges.

VOGEL, Circuit Judge.

We are concerned here with an appeal and cross-appeal from a judge's award of $9,475 to landowners in a condemnation proceeding tried to determine the difference in value of the landowners' property before and after the government's taking of a portion thereof. Specifically, the United States appeals from that part of the award representing $5,950 severance damages. The landowners file a cross-appeal, claiming that the trial judge's alternative finding of $80,000 valuation based on enhancement of the property by the government project itself would have been the proper award and should be granted by this court. In considering both appeal and cross-appeal, we shall, in order to avoid confusion, refer to the United States as the appellant and the landowners as the appellees.

Appellees' family acquired this land in 1899. It consisted of a tract of 156 acres with a frontage of 1900 feet on the Arkansas River. While this land is approximately five miles from Little Rock, Arkansas, it has been consistently devoted

400 F.2d 380
to farming purposes. The appellant, through a declaration of taking, and estimated compensation of $3,900, took from appellees' land a triangular tract including the entire river frontage and amounting to 21 acres in area

Condemnation proceedings to determine the just compensation for the taking commenced on November 3, 1966, before the District Judge sitting without a jury. The appellees presented four witnesses, including a representative of the landowners, two witnesses whose testimony was based on the enhancement value of the land caused by the government project, and one whose testimony was based on enhancement value and also the value of the land as farm land, although his determination of farm land value was based on the income that the land would produce rather than comparable sales. The appellant presented two witnesses, each of whom based his testimony as to valuation on comparable sales in the area without considering any enhancement value accruing to the land as a result of the government project.

The land involved here was taken for use in connection with Lock and Dam No. 6 of the Arkansas River Project. The declaration of taking noted that the land was taken pursuant to 60 Stat. 634, approved by Congress July 24, 1946, which authorized the multiple-purpose plan of the Arkansas River in Arkansas and Oklahoma and the declaration stated further:

"(b) The public uses for which said land is taken are as follows: The said land is necessary adequately to provide for the construction and operation of a navigation project on the Arkansas River, and for other uses incident thereto. The said land has been selected by me for acquisition by the United States for use in connection with Lock and Dam No. 6 on the Arkansas River, and for such other uses as may be authorized by Congress or by Executive Order."

Since a holding by this court in favor of appellees' cross-appeal would moot the appellant's two contentions, we consider first the appellees' claim that they were entitled to an award of $80,000, that being the valuation placed on the property's enhancement value caused by the government project. Appellees arrive at this conclusion by arguing that the land taken here was not within the probable and expected project when originally planned by the government. We note, as did the trial judge, that the appellees did not raise this issue except in their brief submitted after trial. Consequently, the issue of whether this land was within the expected boundaries required for the project as originally planned by the government was not tried, and the only evidence that appellees can now point to in the record to support their contention is vague reference to a rock revetment. This rock revetment was apparently installed by the appellant on appellees' land in connection with the Arkansas River Project in 1962, and appellees argue that this amounted to a taking separate and apart from the 1964 taking here involved, so that the land valuation of the second taking properly includes the enhancement value of the project. We cannot say upon this meager evidence that the land taken here was not within the scope of the Arkansas River Project from the time the government was committed to it and thus, under the teachings of United States v. Miller, 1942, 317 U.S. 369, 63...

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14 practice notes
  • In re Treatment and Care of Luckabaugh, No. 25503.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2002
    ...1980) (internal citations omitted) (applying North Carolina's equivalent of our Rule 52(a), SCRCP); see also United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378 (8th Cir.1968). Compliance with the rule also allows the trial judge to satisfy the interest of judicial economy by dealing fully and properly......
  • Osthus v. Whitesell Corp.., No. 09–3209.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • April 22, 2011
    ...conclusion will suffice in most cases.” SquirtCo v. Seven–Up Co., 628 F.2d 1086, 1092 (8th Cir.1980), citing United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378, 382 (8th Cir.1968). Here, however, minimal requirements were not met. The district court's brief document, labeled “Findings of Fact and Conc......
  • Finney v. Arkansas Bd. of Correction, Nos. 73-1745
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 4, 1974
    ...judicata; and (3) to cause the trial judge to fully and conscientiously consider the basis for his decision, United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378 (8th Cir. 1968). None of these purposes is fulfilled when a court dismisses a claim or claims for relief without specified 16 Findings of fact......
  • United States v. 3,317.39 ACRES, ETC., JEFFERSON CO., ARK., No. 20467.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 16, 1971
    ...United States v. Sunset Cemetery Co., 132 F.2d 163 (7th Cir. 1942). See also United States v. Miller, supra; United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378 (8th Cir. The result of permitting testimony to be introduced before the jury about flooding of lands in addition to those described in the de......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
14 cases
  • In re Treatment and Care of Luckabaugh, No. 25503.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • July 22, 2002
    ...1980) (internal citations omitted) (applying North Carolina's equivalent of our Rule 52(a), SCRCP); see also United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378 (8th Cir.1968). Compliance with the rule also allows the trial judge to satisfy the interest of judicial economy by dealing fully and properly......
  • Osthus v. Whitesell Corp.., No. 09–3209.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • April 22, 2011
    ...conclusion will suffice in most cases.” SquirtCo v. Seven–Up Co., 628 F.2d 1086, 1092 (8th Cir.1980), citing United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378, 382 (8th Cir.1968). Here, however, minimal requirements were not met. The district court's brief document, labeled “Findings of Fact and Conc......
  • Finney v. Arkansas Bd. of Correction, Nos. 73-1745
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • November 4, 1974
    ...judicata; and (3) to cause the trial judge to fully and conscientiously consider the basis for his decision, United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378 (8th Cir. 1968). None of these purposes is fulfilled when a court dismisses a claim or claims for relief without specified 16 Findings of fact......
  • United States v. 3,317.39 ACRES, ETC., JEFFERSON CO., ARK., No. 20467.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (8th Circuit)
    • July 16, 1971
    ...United States v. Sunset Cemetery Co., 132 F.2d 163 (7th Cir. 1942). See also United States v. Miller, supra; United States v. Birnbach, 400 F.2d 378 (8th Cir. The result of permitting testimony to be introduced before the jury about flooding of lands in addition to those described in the de......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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