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Property Keyed to Merrill
Higday v. Nickolaus
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Access the most important case brief elements for optimal case understanding.
*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Several landowners owned farmland that overlies a water basin, which provided water for the landowners’ agricultural and personal uses. The City of Columbia (the City) was enduring a water shortage. Thus, it acquired the land overlying the water basin to extract and transport 11.5 million gallons of water daily to sell to the City’s residents. Daily, the basin would generate 10.5 million gallons. The landowners brought suit against the City seeking the court to declare that the City did not have a right to extract the water for any use that was not related to the beneficial ownership or enjoyment of the land, such as sale away from the land. Also, the landowners are requesting an injunction to prevent the city from extracting more water. The City asserts that the English common law rule of absolute ownership of percolating waters provided it the authority to withdraw an unlimited amount of groundwater, despite the fact that drainage would result from all groundwater from neighboring lands. The City motioned to dismiss the case, and the trial court granted the motion. The landowners appealed.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.