Buford Against Houtz

The salt Lake Herald
February 4, 1890

The Supreme Court sustains the decision of the Utah Courts on Trespassing on Open Lands.

Washington, February 3, 1890 -- The Supreme Court today affirmed the judgment of the Utah courts in the case of Buford et.al. against Houtz et.al. in which the former, who owns 250,000 acres of unenclosed grazing lands, asked for an injunction to prevent Houtz from allowing his cattle to trespass upon Buford's land.  Buford's property is the odd numbered sections of railroad land and the effect of the injunction would be to prevent Houtz and others from using 775,000 acres of public lands adjoining Buford's private property and give the latter a monopoly of this much of the public domain.  The court says it is the common law of the highly cultivated countries that grazers must keep their animals off unenclosed lands belonging to others, but that such a doctrine would be greatly injurious to a sparsely settled region.  The custom and consent of all the departments of the government for nearly one hundred years have given an implied license to the people to graze upon the open and unenclosed  and outlet lands and that is always has been held in the frontier regions that a man was not liable for trespass if his cattle strayed from the public lands to unenclosed private estates.  The states in their early days have generally required property owners to erect fences when they do not wish their land trespassed upon, and as this is the law of Utah, the court denies the application for an injunction.


BUFORD Families in America Book 2005

Addendum to Buford Book 2005


Simeon R. Buford

John Quincy Adams Buford




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