Opportunity to appeal to U.S. Supreme Court could overturn Montana stream access law
Montanans awoke today to find their Constitutional property rights further eroded by the Montana Supreme Court, which has upended over 100 years of established road law in a new decision released today. The implications of the ruling are far reaching for landowners throughout the state and a serious blow to the right of Montanans to own, use, and enjoy their property. The decision could ultimately lead to a bigger win for landowners, however, because it may give an opportunity to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court on the larger issue of the Constitutionality of Montana’s stream access law.
In a dissent to the decision, Justice Laurie McKinnon noted that the Montana Court had to import prescriptive road law from other states to justify their decision. In fact, the decision overturns a recent law passed in Montana that specifies that specifically did not give the public the right to trespass from prescriptive easements.