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Branch Properties, L.L.C. v. Doctor's Point Development, L.L.C.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

May 22, 2019

BRANCH PROPERTIES, L.L.C. Plaintiff-Appellant
v.
DOCTOR'S POINT DEVELOPMENT, L.L.C. Defendant-Appellee

          Appealed from the Second Judicial District Court for the Parish of Jackson, Louisiana Trial Court No. 35, 356 Honorable W. Peyton Cunningham, Jr. (Pro Tempore), Judge

          DANIEL C. HUGHES Counsel for Appellant

          PAUL LOY HURD, APLC By: Paul Loy Hurd Counsel for Appellee

          Before MOORE, GARRETT, and McCALLUM, JJ.

          McCALLUM, J.

         Branch Properties, LLC ("Branch") appeals the trial court's denial of its motion for preliminary injunction. Branch filed for a preliminary injunction against Doctor's Point Development, LLC ("DPD"), alleging that DPD restricted or denied access to a right-of-way that it possesses via previous contracts, agreements, or through acquisitive prescription. DPD counters that although Branch does have an undisputed, forty-foot wide pipeline right-of-way, it holds no other right-of-way across DPD property. Branch filed the preliminary injunction in question with regard to an access road that crosses DPD property and leads to the undisputed pipeline right-of-way. For the following reasons, we affirm the trial court.

         FACTS

         Branch owns and operates a subsurface pipeline that traverses DPD's property. It is undisputed that Branch has a forty-foot wide right-of-way with regard to the pipeline. Branch is the owner and operator of the right-of-way through its ancestors in title: (1) Branch's purchase of the rights from Louisiana Gas Corporation in 2015 and (2) Louisiana Gas Corporation's purchase of the rights from the O'Quin and Clark families in 1978.

         The pivotal portions of the contracts and agreements in question state the following:

… the right to enter upon the land of undersigned situated in the Parish of Jackson, State of Louisiana, and more particularly described, as follows:
… to construct, lay, maintain, operate, alter, repair, remove, change the size of and replace therein pipelines, and appurtenances thereto (including without limitation all protective equipment) for the distribution or transportation of gas and to open, clear of trees and brush, and to maintain said right-of-way and to keep the same clear of underbrush, trees and other obstructions. Grantee shall also have the right to lay
a second pipeline, subject line to be laid adjacent to and parallel with the first.
It is understood and agreed that the right-of-way and easement herein granted shall be forty (40') feet in width.
The grantee shall have the right of ingress and egress to and from said right-of-way herein granted for the ...

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