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Archer v. Greenville Sand & Gravel Co., 233 U.S. 60 (1914)

Archer v. Greenville Sand & Gravel Company

No. 271

Argued March 13, 1914

Decided April 6, 1914

233 U.S. 60


Equity has jurisdiction of an action to enjoin a continuing trespass even if the injunctive remedy is only asked after final adjudication and although the trespass may have been discontinued before that time.

There is no loss of rights or remedies because a plaintiff does not ask for immediate relief, but endures the wrong pending the litigation and until final adjudication.

To constantly dredge gravel from the bed of a stream is a continuing trespass and wrong that entitles the owner to injunctive relief in equity and for which he has no adequate remedy at law.

In Mississippi, the common law prevails as to riparian rights, and he who owns the bank owns to the middle of a navigable river subject to the easement of navigation.

It is a question of local law whether the title to the bed of the navigable rivers of the United States is in the state in which the rivers are situated or in the owners of the land bordering on such rivers.

An owner of the upland who, under the law of the state, owns to the middle of a navigable river, has such an interest in the bed of the stream that, even though he cannot remove gravel therefrom without the consent of the Secretary of War, he can maintain an action to prevent others from doing so.

One sued for removing gravel from the bed of a navigable stream by the owner of the upland cannot demur on the ground that the complaint fails to show that he has not obtained a permit from the Secretary of War. It will not be presumed that the Secretary of War will authorize such removal, and the existence of such a permit must be pleaded.

The facts, which involve the ownership of sand in the bed of the Mississippi River within the boundaries of the State of Mississippi, are stated in the opinion.

Page 233 U. S. 63

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