Property Keyed to Saxer
Interior Trails Preservation Coalition v. Swope
Greg and Donna Swope (Defendants) bought land near the Skyline Ridge Trail in 1997. Defendants put up a barricade and a “no trespassing” sign when they saw numerous people crossing their property. In 2002, residents in the area formed a non-profit corporation, the Interior Trails Preservation Coalition (Plaintiff), to keep recreational trails open to the public. Plaintiff sued Defendants to establish a public prescriptive easement over Defendants’ land, arguing that the public had used the land since the 1950s. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. The superior court granted the motion, ruling that (1) Plaintiff did not have standing and (2) Plaintiff had not been in existence long enough to satisfy the ten years of continuous use necessary to establish a prescriptive easement. Plaintiff filed a motion for reconsideration, which was denied. Plaintiff then petitioned the Supreme Court of Alaska for review, which was granted.
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