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U.S. Supreme Court

Farmers Irrigation Dist. v. O'Shea, 244 U.S. 325 (1917)

Farmers Irrigation District v. O'Shea

No. 215

Submitted April 25, 1917

Decided June 4, 1917

244 U.S. 325


Under § 3438 of the Revised Statutes of Nebraska, 1913, as construed by the supreme court of the state, the owner of an irrigation canal may be compelled to bridge it to afford access between the lands of another which are intersected by it, although the canal was built across the lands by one who owned them at the time and who sold the separated parcels by successive conveyances to their present owner, after the canal had been long in operation and after it had been disposed of to another interest.

In virtue of the right to affix conditions to grants of corporate power, the State of Nebraska, in granting appellant Irrigation District the privilege of obtaining lands for canals, etc., by condemnation, was justified in imposing, by the same law, the duty to build bridges without further compensation in the circumstances indicated in the preceding paragraph, and appellant, having accepted the privilege cum onere, cannot complain that its property is taken in violation of the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment when the requirement is enforced, even though the right of way for the particular canal in question was acquired without resort to condemnation.

A state law laying a duty upon all owners of irrigation canals to construct bridges over them for the benefit of abutting lands does not violate the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment in not embracing canals devoted to other uses.

8 Neb. 239 affirmed. chanroblesvirtualawlibrary

Page 244 U. S. 326

The case is stated in the opinion.

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