Land Use Disputes
Cruelty to Horses
This segment contains cases that deal with various land use disputes involving horses. Zoning restrictions on horse density and horse facilities are included, as are environmental protection restrictions on horse operations. Cases involving agricultural protections statutes (right to farm laws) are also included.
(scroll down to view cases)
Wyoming Supreme Court (1999) No
ownership of land by adverse
possession for use next to fence
Tennessee Attorney General (1999) Concentrated animal feeding operation exempt from county zoning controls
New York Appellate Division (2000) Zoning decision affecting property in two towns must involve both
Connecticut Superior Court (2000) Keeping two horses on property permitted as nonconforming use
Rhode Island Superior Court (2000) Ordinance prohibiting riding horses on beach in summer is valid
Connecticut Superior Court (2000) Neighbors' protests prevent expansion of commercial horse facility
Connecticut Superior Court (2000) Horse owners required to set back paddock from property line
Massachusetts Court of Appeals (2000) Lawsuit by horse farm against complaining neighbors dismissed
Alabama Supreme Court (2000) Manufacturer protected from pollution claim by right to farm law
Ohio Court of Appeals (2000) Landowner can be ordered to pay for one-half of fence only if land benefits
Kansas Supreme Court (2000) One hundred year old fence law criticized--legislative revision urged
Tennessee Court of Appeals (2001) Old road not
dedicated to public
nor was right of passage acquired by use
Connecticut Appellate Court (2001) Keeping horses on residential property violated zoning ordinance
Pennsylvania Superior Court (2001) No adverse possession of boundary triangle because use not hostile
Oregon Court of Appeals (2001) Court upholds refusal to permit outfitter's school in exclusive farm use zone
Illinois Appellate Court (2001) Horse owner challenges order stopping construction of private barn
Minnesota Court of Appeals (2001) Commercial horse operator permitted to rebuild barn destroyed by fire
Ohio Court of Appeals (2001) Court approves modification of easement to meet modern needs
Iowa Court of Appeals (2001) Court approves of in kind distributions of farms rather than sales in partition case
Oregon Court of Appeals (2001) County suit to block horse arena was not an abuse of process
Rhode Island Superior Court (2001) Keeping miniature horse permitted under zoning and restrictive covenant
Connecticut Court of Appeals (2001) Horse owners required to set back paddock from property line
North Carolina Court of Appeals (2001) Horse operation exempt from zoning laws by agricultural protection act
Oregon Court of Appeals (2001) One ranch acquired easement over neighboring ranch by adverse use
New Jersey Appellate Division (2001) Keeping horses of another on property is a permissible agricultural use
Connecticut Superior Court (2001) Backyard horse owners acquired neighbor's property by adverse possession
New York Appellate Division (2001) Horse owner loses in request for minimum acreage variance
Georgia Supreme Court (2001) Horse farmer not required to sell horses to prevent run off to fish farmer's pond
Ohio Court of Appeals (2001) Trucking business not part of non-conforming horse stables use
California Court of Appeals (2001) Property owner ordered to stop harassing horse drivers on easement
U.S. District Court, Illinois (2002) Equestrian center violated Clean Water Act in constructing road without permit
California Court of Appeal (2002) Horseman did not obtain easement by recreational use of property of another
Missouri Court of Appeals (2002) Enforcing ordinance against keeping livestock may be unconstitutional
Minnesota Court of Appeals (2002) Commercial horse operator permitted to rebuild barn destroyed by fire
Iowa Court of Appeals (2002) Restrictive covenant expired so cannot be applied to horse owner
Wyoming Supreme Court (2002) Horse owner not permitted to gate a cattle-guarded easement to another's property
Missouri Court of Appeals (2002) Intensity of use by grazing cattle, raising horses, and hunting not sufficient for adverse possession
Oregon Court of Appeals (2002) Court upholds zoning authority's granting of permit for boarding and lesson facility
Connecticut Superior Court (2002) Recreational use for riding, fishing and hunting sufficient for adverse possession
California Court of Appeals (2002) Stables renovation exempt from California Environmental Quality Act
U.S. District Court (2002) Court finds that race track discharge violated Clean Water Act
Massachusetts Appeals Court (2002) Dressage academy is an agricultural use not requiring a special permit
Wyoming Supreme Court (2002) Seasonally grazing horses and cattle on land is adverse possession
North Carolina Court of Appeals (2002) Keeping horses on residential property violated zoning ordinance
Rhode Island Supreme Court
Miniature horse violates livestock zoning
New Hampshire Supreme Court (2003) Barn for two horses permitted as a zoning variance
Connecticut Superior Court (2003) Horse corral fences intruding into easement may remain because no interference with use
U.S. District Court, Indiana (2003) No evidence of PCB pollution on horse farm
Wyoming Supreme Court (2003) Whether gates or cattle guards are ok on easement requires a trial
U.S. District Court, Tennessee (2003) No Americans with Disabilities Act violation in denying permission to keep miniature horse on property
Connecticut Superior Court (2003) A horse is not a "normal domestic pet" within meaning of deed restriction
Kentucky Court of Appeals (2003) Occasional riding of horses on disputed property not enough for adverse possession
Massachusetts Court of Appeals (2003) Three horses can stay on residentially-zoned property as incidental uses
Ohio Court of Appeals (2003) Granting non-exclusive right to fox hunt on property doesn't keep owner from also hunting
Rhode Island Superior Court (2003) Proposal to build "barn" rejected because not an accessory use to main residence
Connecticut Superior Court (2003) Agricultural protection act prevents city from increasing set-back requirement for horses
Kentucky Court of Appeals (2004) Keeping a
not convert residential zoning into agricultural zoning
Washington Court of Appeals (2004) Agricultural exemption from wetlands regulation lost by not grazing horses in area for five years
Ohio Court of Common Pleas (2004) Equestrian center cited by fire marshal for violations in barn living conditions
Oregon Court of Appeals (2004) Land acquired by adverse possession through horse grazing and mobile home occupancy
Idaho Supreme Court (2004) Purchaser of land is subject to deed restrictions that were improperly filed by county officials
Virginia Supreme Court (2004) Pasturing horse on land adjoining residential property is not a nuisance
Connecticut Appellate Court (2004) Deed restriction prohibiting keeping horses on property not enforceable because not uniform
Michigan Court of Appeals (2004) Horse operation and corn maze protected from zoning by agricultural protection act
Massachusetts Superior Court (2004) Horse operation not by protected from zoning by agricultural protection act because lot too small
Kentucky Court of Appeals (2004) Landowner has right to erect gates on easements to keep horses contained
Minn. Tax Court
(2005) Slaughter not required for agricultural
New Jersey Tax Court (2005) Horses must use most of the land; bees must use most of the land most of the time
Supreme Court of Michigan (2005) Abandonment by railway of easement for railway use extinguishes easement
Oregon Tax Court, Mag. Div. (2006) Farm use requires a primary purpose of obtaining a profit in money.
Supreme Court of Rhode Island (2006) Permission to graze and ride horses distinguished from stabling, jumping and keeping other animals such as llamas.
Vermont Supreme Court (2006) Auto use does not extinguish 1881 easement.
Kansas Court of Appeals (2006) Training horses for racing not an agricultural use.
New Jersey Superior Court (2006) Housing for labor not covered by the Right to Farm Act.
Texas Court of Appeals (2006) Forfeiture of corporate charter proves fatal to sheriff's Posse's long-term lease.
U.S. Court of Appeals (2006) Failure to pay fee results in loss of grazing rights, not access to water.
California Court of Appeals (2006) Court upholds non-motorized access across private, common driveway
Wisconsin Court of Appeals (2006) Grazing cattle, cessation of filling, prove adverse possession
Idaho Supreme Court (2007) Application for water rights can amount to
putting the water to beneficial use.
Connecticut Superior Court (2007) Uncontrolled, equine fecal matter held to be reckless.
Michigan Court of Appeals (2007) Permission to use thwarts claims of acquiescence and adverse possession.
New Mexico Supreme Court (2007) Right to forage is not implied in vested water right.
Arkansas Court of Appeals (2007) Title by adverse possession upheld after 50 years of use.
Arizona Court of Appeals (2007) Necessity of use by servient easement owners is a triable issue.
California Court of Appeals (2007) City ordinance prohibits horses on valid easement.
Kansas Court of Appeals (2007) Ordinance requires removal of farm animals from city.