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Case Law Update: Right of Access to Land in the Drainage Code

Halpin v. Schultz, No. 106537, presented the question as to whether the trial court properly granted plaintiffs’ request for declaratory judgment in action seeking right of access to defendants’ land to replace and repair drainage tile for purposes of allowing water to drain from plaintiffs’ property? Appellate Court, in reversing trial court, found that trial court failed to make findings required by the Drainage Code with respect to issues pertaining to future damages to defendants’ fields and location of discharge point and also failed to compensate defendants for use or damage occasioned by plaintiffs’ access to defendants’ land. This third district decision will have an impact on premise liability cases.