Facts: The evidence presented does not show if one can walk from one-half of the
property to the other. The pictures indicate that one can walk through or across it and
that such a hollow is not unusual for the Ozarks. There is an indication that a road might
be necessary for cattle to cross the hollow, but no evidence regarding what would be
necessary to construct a path or road sufficient only for cattle, or what it would cost.
Issue: Is P entitled under – 228. 340 to a roadway of necessity because a portion of their
property does not have a public road “through or alongside” it; and P’s do not have, and
cannot reasonable provide for, vehicular access to that portion of their property from a
portion with access to a public road?
Holding: Reversed. P has one tract of land with a public road alongside the tract and this
P is not entitled to relief.
Rationale:
– The statute should be strictly construed. A literal application would deny P’s
claim as a “public road passes thru or alongside their land”. The only time this
statute has granted a roadway when a portion of the property has a road along side
it was in Wiese where P lived on a farm with land that was completely separated
by a river and the other side was completely useless. The court determined that
the river made the two pieces of land as “separate tracts” and affirmed the
granting of a private road of necessity.
– This case is different from Wiese because there the river made the land into two
separate tracts and here P’s property is still one tract. To allow a private roadway
would be to change the statutory language. The court would be allowing a private
road because a vehicle cannot travel from one portion of the same tract to a public
road.
– The statute authorizes the establishment of a private road only for the purpose of
providing egress and ingress to land not bordering upon a public road and there is
no other interpretation.