- Ag Docket
The defendant held a grazing permit to graze cattle on federal land. One of the permit conditions required the defendant to erect a fence, maintain it and remove abandoned fence wire and steel posts, etc. The plaintiffs were riding a motorcycles on the federal land where they collided with an uncharged electric fence that the defendant had erected in accordance with the permit. The plaintiffs sued the defendant for negligence on the basis that the defendant created a dangerous condition that the defendant should have discovered and remedied. The trial court granted summary judgment for the defendant and the plaintiffs appealed. On appeal, the court assumed that the plaintiffs had the status of "invitees," but affirmed the trial court on the basis that as a permit holder, the defendant was a mere licensee and was not an owner or possessor of the land at issue. The permit also did not give the defendant an easement in the federal land at issue, and the defendant did not violate any of the standards and requirements associated with establishing fences on the property. As such, the defendant lacked intended control sufficient to give rise to a duty to the plaintiffs. There was also no duty that arose from the relationship of the parties as there was no "special" relationship between the parties. Furthermore, there was no duty based on public policy. Smith v. Almida Land & Cattle Company, LLC, No. 1 CA-CV 13-0757, 2015 Ariz. App. Unpub. LEXIS 283 (Ariz. Ct. App. Mar. 3, 2015).
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