U.S. Supreme Court
Broder v. Water Company, 101 U.S. 274 (1879)
Broder v. Water Company
101 U.S. 274
A., a water and mining company, constructed in 1853, over public land in California, a canal, and its right, which it has ever since exercised, to use the water for mining, agricultural, and other purposes has been uniformly recognized by the local customs, laws, and the decisions of the courts of that State. B. is now the owner of lands through which the canal runs. He acquired title to one portion of them by a preemption settlement made after the passage of the act of July 28, 1886, 14 Stat. 251, and to another portion under the grant made to the Central Pacific Railroad Company, by the amended Pacific Rail road Act of July 2, 1864. 13 Stat. 358. In his suit against A., B. seeks the recovery of damages, and also prays that the canal may be declared a nuisance, and as such abated.
1. That B.'s title under the preemption laws is subject to A.'s right of way under said act of 1888.
2. That said act expressly confirmed to the owners of such canals a preexisting right, which the government had by its policy theretofore recognized. A. had, therefore, within the meaning of said act of 1864, a "lawful claim" to the continued use of the water, which was not defeated or impaired by the grant of the lands to said railroad company.
The facts of the case and the legislation bearing upon them are set out in the opinion of the Court.