Monday, April 29, 2013

Edwards v. Simms case brief

Edwards v. Simms case brief
232 Ky. 791

CASE SYNOPSIS: Petitioner property owners sought a writ of prohibition against respondent judge of the Edmonson Circuit Court (Kentucky), to prevent the judge from enforcing an order permitting the inspection of a cave on their property and punishing them for contempt for any disobedience of the order.

FACTS: The property owners possessed land on which caves were situated. The judge of the lower court entered an order that surveyors were permitted to enter upon the land to survey a cave for the purpose of securing evidence on an issue as to whether or not a part of the cave was being exploited under the lands of another party. The property owners claimed that the lower court was without jurisdiction or authority to order the inspection and sought a writ of prohibition against the judge. Upon review, the court denied the writ of prohibition.

The court held that there was no difference in principle between the invasion of a mine on adjoining property to ascertain whether or not the minerals were being extracted from under the applicant's property and an inspection of the property owner's land through his cave to ascertain whether or not he was trespassing under another person's property.

The court found that the lower court judge reviewed surveys of the surface of both parties, but the conflicting opinions were of no assistance to the judge. The judge properly concluded that the only viable option to ending the controversy was an accurate survey of the cave by an uninterested party.

CONCLUSION: The court denied the property owners' request for a writ of prohibition against the judge and affirmed the order for a survey of the property owners' cave.

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