Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto

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Alaska Easement Law
Nunamta Aulukestal v. State of Alaska

Challenged in this case are land and water use permits allowing intensive
mineral exploration on State land. The main question we address is whether the
Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had to give public notice before issuing the
permits. Because the Alaska Constitution requires public notice when interests in land
are transferred, the answer to this question depends on wheth... More...
   $0 (05-29-2015 - AK)

Keven Windel v. Mat-Se Title Insurance Agency, Inc.

The primary issue in this consolidated appeal is the validity and interpretation of a roadway easement granted to meet a borough's subdivision plat-waiver requirements. The borough later approved a nearby subdivision project contingent on upgrading the easement roadway. The owners of the servient estate first insisted that the developer maintain his roadway upgrade within the original 50-foot eas... More...   $0 (11-30--0001 - AK)

Offshore Systems - Kenai v. State of Alaska, Department of Transportation

Offshore Systems – Kenai (Offshore) operates a commercial dock facility on Cook Inlet in the Kenai Peninsula Borough (Borough). Nikishka Beach Road traverses Offshore’s property. The public has used this road to access the beach since the 1950s. In 2007 Offshore installed a gate blocking the road. The State and the Borough sought an injunction against Offshore, alleging a public right-of-way o... More...   $0 (07-27-2012 - AK)

Thomas E. Price, Jr. v. Mike Eastham

Thomas Price posted “No Trespassing” signs on his property in 1998 because he believed an excessive number of snowmachiners were using a trail that crossed his land, damaging it, traveling at high speeds, and causing a great deal of noise. In 2003, we held that a group of snowmachine users had established a public prescriptive easement over the trail, but we twice remanded this case to the sup... More...   $0 (07-15-2011 - AK)

Harold M. Cowan v. Sharon Yeisley

In 1948 Claude Yeisley received a patent to Tract A, consisting of 4.45 acres of land in Ketchikan, from the United States. In 1956 he deeded a lot of land within Tract A to his daughter and her husband, the Cowans, along with a “perpetual right of way running with the land” over a 30-foot strip of “right of way” running along the southeastern side of Tract A. Between 1960 and 1973, Claude... More...   $0 (05-27-2011 - AK)

Richard Krause v. Matanuska-Susitna Borough

Property owners in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough obtained preliminary approval for a plat after agreeing to certain conditions regarding easements and rights-ofway. They submitted a final version of the plat that did not conform to those conditions, but the Borough Platting Board accepted it for recording. Other owners of property in the same subdivision complained to Borough officials, appealed t... More...   $0 (04-23-2010 - AK)

Lee Williams v. Larry Fagnani

This case is before us for a second time. In our first decision we held that Lee Williams was entitled to an implied roadway easement over property owned by Larry Fagnani.1 On remand the superior court ruled that Fagnani was entitled to maintain a locked gate across the roadway, so long as Williams was advised of the combination.

Williams’s challenge to this ruling is the main issue now b... More...
   $0 (03-05-2010 - AK)

Nancy J. Hillstrand v. City of Homer

A municipality sought land through eminent domain to expand its water treatment plant. The property owner objected to the taking because: it would close off an access route to her remaining property; the municipality had not dedicated replacement access in a binding way; and the municipality sought a fee simple interest, rather than an easement, in the portion of the land to be used as an undevelo... More...   $0 (10-30-2009 - AK)

Harvey A. Hansen v. Marvin P. David

When William Rodgers sold Lot 53-A in Ketchikan to Marvin and Arlene Lani Davis in 1984, he reserved an easement1 across that lot to access the adjacent lot, Lot 52, which he apparently had hoped to buy at a future date. But Rodgers never used the easement to access the adjacent property, and the Davises planted a garden covering most of the easement area and built a greenhouse within the easement... More...   $0 (11-06-2009 - AK)

Jeffrey Labrenz v. Shane Burnett and Jill Burnett

This appeal addresses a dispute between Jeffrey Labrenz and Shane and Jill Burnett over the use of land described in an easement. Labrenz has a driveway easement over the Burnetts’ land, and in building his driveway, Labrenz installed decorative rocks, shrubs, trees, a fence, and a gate on the Burnetts’ property. The superior court agreed with Labrenz that the slope of the Burnetts’ land nec... More...   $0 (10-20-2009 - AK)

The Estate of Selma Smith, et al. v. Charles Spinell, et al.

This dispute centers around a 3.38-acre parcel of coastal land in the Turnagain area of Anchorage. Prior to the 1964 Alaska Earthquake, this parcel consisted of a steep, eroding bluff and tidal mudflats. The powerful earthquake collapsed the bluff, spreading it out over the mudflats and transforming the once unusable parcel into gently sloping, potentially developable coastal property. Uncertainty... More...   $0 (09-18-2009 - AK)

Craig Wm. Black v. Municipality of Anchorage, Board of Equalization

An owner of a condominium unit in a community consisting of singlefamily
homes on large parcels of land appealed the Municipality of Anchorage’s
assessment of property taxes. The owner claims that the Municipality erred by assessing
taxes against the land under and around his stand-alone condominium unit and by
inaccurately assessing the home’s value. The owner’s appeal to th... More...
   $0 (07-18-2008 - AK)

Robert H. Bradley v. Daniel L. Klaes, et al.

The main question in this appeal is whether the superior court properly granted summary judgment establishing user fees for a taxiway and private airstrip. We conclude that summary judgment was improperly granted on this issue because there was a genuine issue of material fact as to what the appropriate fee should be.


On April 20, 2004, the owners of three p... More...   $0 (04-02-2008 - AK)

Municipality of Anchorage v. Lisa K. Suzuki, et al.

Alaska Statute 09.55.275 requires a municipality to obtain preliminary approval of a replat before an eminent domain acquisition that results in a "boundary change." Because we hold that a "boundary change" results when a municipality takes an easement that is not coextensive with the property lines and that functionally interferes with the landowner's use, the statute required the Municip... More...   $0 (02-08-2002 - AK)

Evelynn C. Foster v. State of Alaska, Department of Transportation

Indian Law - The superior court dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction Evelynn Foster's trespass claim against the State of Alaska. Because adjudicating Foster's claim would have required the superior court to determine the scope of an easement on Foster's Native allotment, and because state courts lack jurisdiction to adjudicate the ownership or right to possession of Native all... More...   $0 (11-16-2001 - AK)

Safeway, Inc. v. State of Alaska

After being dedicated to the public, a strip of land is accepted by the local government as a public street and later included on a highway right-of-way map by the State of Alaska. When the local government subsequently vacates the street, does the State retain an interest in the land? Because the State accepted the dedication by mapping the land as part of a highway right-of- way, and bec... More...   $0 (11-06-2001 - AK)

Gamble v. Northshore Partnership

The trial court denied Baxter and Yang-Cha Gambles' request to reform a recorded easement agreement in order to reduce in size an easement crossing their land. The court awarded full attorney's fees, $102,067.30, to Northstore Partnership, which included approximately $29,000 for work in a prior appeal to this court. * * *

More...   $0 (05-11-2001 - AK)

M. Ashley Dickerson, et al. v. Duke Williams, et al.

Real property - roadway easement across the land of Duke and Jean Williams to that of M. Ashley Dickerson. The Matanuska-Susitna Borough vactd the public interest in half of the easement on the condition that the Williamses build an alternate road to Dickerson's land; dissatiafied witht the new road, she sued. She agreed to settle with the Williamses and the Borough promised to pay $6,500 within... More...   $0 (04-17-1998 - AK)

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