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Francis Maddock and Deborah Maddock v. Larry andersen

May 14, 2013

FRANCIS MADDOCK AND DEBORAH MADDOCK,
PLAINTIFFS AND APPELLANTS
v.
LARRY ANDERSEN,
JANE ANDERSEN, HOWARD ANDERSEN, ROLAND WAITE, KAREN WAITE, REED MERKEL, ELLA WAITE, DAVID WAITE, DENISE JUST, DEBRA PETERS, DAWN HERNANDEZ, DIANE WATSON, DONNA PETERSON, AND JAMES PETERSON,
DEFENDANTS
LARRY ANDERSEN, JANE ANDERSEN, APPELLEES



Appeal from the District Court of Dickey County, Southeast Judicial District, the Honorable Daniel D. Narum, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sandstrom, Justice.

N.D. Supreme Court

Maddock v. Andersen,

2013 ND 80

This opinion is subject to petition for rehearing.

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AFFIRMED. Opinion of the Court by Sandstrom, Justice.

[¶1] Francis and Deborah Maddock appeal a district court judgment denying their request for permanent injunctive relief. We affirm.

I

[¶2] Larry and Jane Andersen operate a farm approximately three miles from the Maddocks' property. In the 1960s, a drainage ditch was built by Larry Andersen's father to allow water to drain into a slough located on the Andersens' property. The Maddocks allege the Andersens' ditch now causes water to unnaturally drain onto their property, and they sought a permanent injunction stopping the flow of water from the ditch onto their land. At trial, both the Maddocks and the Andersens presented their own expert witness, each of whom testified to the flow of water from the slough and various other areas and to the environmental makeup of pooling water. Other lay witnesses also testified.

[¶3] The district court concluded the Maddocks failed to show the water on their property came primarily from the Andersens' drain and the Maddocks failed to identify or investigate three other possible locations from which water might flow onto their land. The district court also concluded it is necessary for the drainage ditch to remain open to protect the Andersens' home and the Andersens took reasonable care to avoid unnecessary damage to the Maddocks' land.

[¶4] The district court had jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. VI, § 8, and N.D.C.C. § 27-05-06. The Maddocks timely appealed from the district court order under N.D.R.App.P. 4(a). We have jurisdiction under N.D. Const. art. VI, §§ 2 and 6, and N.D.C.C. § 28-27-01.

II

[¶5] On appeal, the Maddocks argue the district court erred in finding the Andersens complied with the reasonable use rule and the Maddocks were not entitled to injunctive relief.

[ΒΆ6] The granting of an injunction may be appropriate if a property owner is unreasonably draining land. See Martin v. ...


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