Sea River Properties, LLC. v. Parks

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 12-05-2012
  • Case #: A145896
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Brewer, J. for the Court; Armstrong, P.J.; and Duncan, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Land formed by accretion does not belong to the owner in possession of the property when the land forms on top of property already owned by another.

Sea River appealed a judgment quieting title in favor of Parks. The disputed property is undeveloped land located where the Nehalem River meets the Pacific Ocean. Sea River owns land on the north side of the river, and Parks owns land on the south side. Both properties indicate the Pacific Ocean as their western boundary, and are divided from each other by an east-west section line. The river alternated between two paths until the government built a jetty. Prior to the jetty, the disputed property consisted of tidelands. The jetty caused sand to accumulate on the tidelands west of each party’s property and dry land to form. Sea River argued that it owned the property because it formed by accretion, which occurs when there is a gradual deposit of soil on land already in possession of the owner. The Court disagreed and found that the sand accumulated on top of tidelands. The state owned the tidelands and later conveyed it to Parks’ predecessors. The accumulation of sand on top of the tidelands did not change its ownership, so Parks is the owner of the disputed property. Also, the changing path of the river did not alter the boundaries of the Parks property. Affirmed.

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