from Conecuh Circuit Court (CV-13-900102)
Bradley and Jeffrey Bradley appeal a judgment of the Conecuh
Circuit Court ("the trial court") in favor of
Shannon Scott and Joanne Scott.
November 25, 2013, the Bradleys filed a complaint against the
Scotts in the trial court. In their complaint, the Bradleys
alleged that they owned a certain parcel of real property
("the Bradley parcel"), that Cedar Creek Land &
Timber, Inc. ("Cedar Creek"), owned an adjacent
parcel of real property ("the Cedar Creek parcel"),
and that the Scotts owned a nearby parcel of property
("the Scott parcel"), across which the Bradleys,
their predecessors in interest, and representatives of Cedar
Creek had allegedly traveled "in excess of 30 years for
access to their properties." I n their complaint, the
Bradleys further alleged that the Scotts had "wrongfully
placed a locked gate blocking" an "open [and]
defined roadway" that had allegedly been used to travel
across the Scott parcel by the Bradleys, their predecessors
in interest, representatives of Cedar Creek, and the public.
Bradleys requested declaratory and injunctive relief,
specifically asking that the trial court, among other things,
"[e]nter an [o]rder which declares that the open,
defined roadway that crosses [the Scott parcel] is a public
roadway by prescription or[, ] in the alternative[, ] that
the [Bradleys] have an easement by agreement, by
prescription, by implication, by necessity[, ] and/or by
adverse possession." The Scotts answered the
Bradleys' complaint, generally denying their allegations.
Neither Conecuh County ("the county") nor Cedar
Creek were ever made parties to the action.
December 2015, the trial court conducted an ore tenus trial
at which it received testimony from, among other witnesses,
Keith Johnson, a Cedar Creek "reading manager"
whose duties included management of the Cedar Creek parcel.
Another Cedar Creek employee, Luke Mitchell, also testified;
he stated that he was not responsible for managing the Cedar
Creek parcel, but, he said, he had hunted on the Cedar Creek
parcel under a lease. The evidence presented at trial
established that the Cedar Creek parcel is situated between
the Bradley parcel and the Scott parcel and that traveling to
the Bradley parcel from the Scott parcel via the access road
at issue requires crossing over the Cedar Creek parcel.
close of the Bradleys' case-in-chief, the Scotts moved
for a judgment as a matter of law regarding the Bradleys'
claim that an easement had been established by adverse
possession, which the trial court granted. At the close of
all the evidence, the trial court heard closing statements
from the parties' attorneys, who had the following
"[The Scotts' attorney]: You also have in question
here the fact that, you know, even if [the Bradleys] got
access to come across [the Scott parcel, ] what if one day
Cedar Creek said no, you ain't coming across ours? What
are you gonna do then?
"[The Bradleys' attorney]: Same case. Same facts.
"[The Scotts' attorney]: It very well may be, but it
may require another court action. And so we submit that it
just isn't -- They just haven't proved their case is
our position, Judge.
"[The trial court]: All right. I'll take it under
On October 4, 2016, the trial court entered a judgment, which
provides, in relevant part:
"[The Bradleys] and [the Scotts] are owners of
[p]roperty in Conecuh County, Alabama[, ] which are in the
same area [as] each other but do not share a common border.
They are ...