Meckem v. Carter

Since 1991, Plaintiffs accessed their parcel of land by traveling over Defendants’ property pursuant to an easement for a road right of way. When Defendants obstructed Plaintiffs’ use of their easement, Plaintiffs filed an action for a declaratory judgment determining the parties’ rights and duties under the easement and a permanent injunction restraining Defendants from interfering with their use of the easement. After a trial, the district court ordered Defendants to remove obstructions from the easement. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion for order to show cause, asserting that Defendants should be held in contempt of court for violating the prior judgment by failing to remove the obstructions. The district court found Defendants in contempt of court after a hearing. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part, holding that the district court (1) acted within its discretion in holding Defendants in civil contempt; but (2) erred when it ordered Defendants to pay a penalty of $100 per day to the court until the obstructions were removed. View "Meckem v. Carter" on Justia Law