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Category Archives: Taney County

Jury muddles title to North Beach Park and part of Branson Landing


On January 14, 2010, a Taney County jury rendered its verdict on the counterclaim of Doug Coverdell and Coverdell Enterprises against Empire District Electric Company, the Joplin-based utility that owns Lake Taneycomo and some adjacent land.

Coverdell’s counterclaim apparently sought to determine that Coverdell had better title than Empire to Branson’s North Beach Park and the north end of Branson Landing, possibly extending as far south as the north quarter of the parking garage.

The City of Branson has leased North Beach Park from Empire for decades. The deeds that the jury seemed to affirm include land that the City bought from owners other than Empire as well as land owned by persons not involved in the lawsuit.

A quiet title suit often doesn’t absolutely determine ownership, but only determines which of the litigants has a better claim to title. Without a definite legal description and the participation of all the owners, a verdict like the one here is much less than certain.

As events unfold, I’ll explain more here. If you want to get an email notification of updates to this blog, check the email box in the upper right corner of your screen.

Having reviewed portions of the court file, my tentative conclusion is that the jury’s verdict is a long way from resolving the dispute. Empire has filed a post-trial motion and others will be assessing their options. A judgment does not become final for 30 days, which can be extended by the filing of post-trial motions.

More confusion for Missouri boat dock law


Boat docks, like other properties along Missouri’s lakes, are valuable and jealously guarded by those claiming ownership or rights of use.

The law of boat docks is a muddle, perhaps due to the historic lack of clarity as to whether a boat dock is real property (land and the things attached permanently to it) or personal property (anything but real property), which is generally portable.

The Missouri legislature attempted to resolve that issue for the purposes of appraisal and mortgage lending with the enactment of  HB 842, sponsored by Rep. Dennis Wood, whose legislative district encompasses Table Rock Lake.

Signed by Gov. Nixon on July 7, 2009 and effective August 28, 2009, this new law defines “boat dock” as “a structure for loading and unloading boats and connecting real property to water, public or private.” In addition, “a boat dock is real property and has riparian rights,” provided: Read the rest of this entry

Table Rock Lake and the cost of economic activity

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Kathleen O’Dell’s article about the economic impact of Table Rock Lake in today’s Springfield News-Leader, entitled “Table Rock Dam Gives Much Back to Area,” covers a lot of ground in describing the various kinds of economic activities that are related to the construction and continued existence of Table Rock Lake.

In an economic sense, is the Table Rock Lake area fit (efficient and nimble) or obese (expensive to maintain and subject to falls)? As pointed out below, the two counties most affected by Table Rock Lake have experienced the area’s lowest growth in Read the rest of this entry

When the iris blooms, it’s time to challenge your property tax value

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You may think of property taxes only when you get your property tax bill in November, with your taxes due by year end. But in November and December, you’re generally too late to do anything but pay the taxes.

Spring is the time of year that you can actually do something about the amount of your taxes, so that the November tax statement will not be such a shock. You can appeal to the board of equalization. Here’s how Read the rest of this entry

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