FOURTH COURT OF APPEALS UPHOLDS OUR CLIENT’S ROADWAY ACCESS
In December 2016 we filed suit on behalf of Laredo landowners whose access to their subdivision was being denied by a neighboring property owner. The neighbor claimed that he owned the roadway leading to the subdivision as his private property. To bolster his claim, the neighbor began barricading the roadway.
Our clients learned that the subdivision developer was aware of the neighbor’s claims prior to selling lots (including theirs). Although the developer believed the neighbor’s claims to be invalid, no disclosure of the claims was made to purchasers of subdivision lots.
Our lawsuit was filed in the Webb County District Court, and sought damages against the developer, together with a judicial declaration that our clients had a right to use the roadway. The developer, in turn, sued the neighbor asserting the ownership claim.
The trial court determined that the roadway did not belong to the neighbor, but rather, had become a public roadway through implied dedication. Thereafter, our clients settled their damages claims against the developer.
The neighbor appealed the trial court’s decision to the Fourth Court of Appeals. In his appeal, the neighbor insisted that he had acquired title to the roadway through a prior foreclosure sale and resulting Sheriff’s Deed.
On February 19, 2020, the Fourth Court issued its opinion upholding the determination that the roadway was not the private property of our client’s neighbor, and that it was impliedly dedicated to the public for permanent public use.