Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact

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Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact
Member jurisdictions: 2
Issue(s): Boundaries

The Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact is an interstate compact between Missouri and Nebraska. The compact "establishes the middle of the Missouri River as the boundary between the two states, except for that land known as McKissick's Island as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court to be within the state of Nebraska."[1]

History

Originally, the center of the Missouri River was understood to be the boundary between Nebraska and Missouri. As the river shifted over time, disputes arose over the exact border. In the 1930s, the US Army Corps of Engineers "began efforts to stabilize the river,"[1] but the lack of a clearly and legally defined boundary led to confusion about jurisdiction of the land and water along the border. Some owners of farmland along the were receiving tax notices from both states, and law enforcement efforts in the disputed area became increasingly difficult to manage and costly to litigate. The compact provides a legal agreement between the two states with both clarity in defining the border and responsibilities, and flexibility in addressing any unforeseen issues that may arise.

Text of the compact

The legislature of each member state passes the laws with certain modifications, but the core of the legislation remains the same.

Article I: Findings and Purposes

(a) The states of Missouri and Nebraska find that there are actual and potential disputes, controversies, criminal proceedings and litigation arising or which may arise out of the location of the boundary line between the states of Missouri and Nebraska; that the Missouri River constituting the boundary between the states has changed its course from time to time, and that the United States Army Corps of Engineers has established a main channel of such river for navigation and other purposes, which main channel is identified on maps jointly certified by the state surveyors of Missouri and Nebraska and identified as the "Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Maps," which maps are incorporated in this act and made part of this act by reference, and which maps shall be filed with the secretaries of state of Missouri and Nebraska.
(b) It is the principal purpose of the states of Missouri and Nebraska in executing the compact to establish an identifiable compromise boundary between the state of Missouri and the state of Nebraska for the entire distance thereof as of the effective date of the compact without interfering with or otherwise affecting private rights or titles to property, and the states of Nebraska and Missouri declare that further compelling purposes of the compact are:

  1. To create a friendly and harmonious interstate relationship;
  2. To avoid multiple exercise of sovereignty and jurisdiction including matters of taxation, judicial and police powers and exercise of administrative authority;
  3. To encourage settlement and disposition of pending litigation and criminal proceedings and avoid or minimize future disputes and litigation;
  4. To promote economic and political stability;
  5. To encourage the optimum mutual beneficial use of the Missouri River, its waters and its facilities;
  6. To establish a forum for settlement of future disputes;
  7. To place the boundary in a location which can be identified or located; and
  8. To express the intent and policy of the states that the common boundary be established within the confines of the Missouri River and both states shall continue to have access to and use of the waters of the river.

Article II: Establishment of Boundary

The permanent compromise boundary line between the states of Missouri and Nebraska shall be fixed at the center line of the main channel of the Missouri River as of the effective date of the compact, except for that land known as McKissick's Island as determined by the Supreme Court of the United States to be within the state of Nebraska in the case of Missouri v. Nebraska, 196 U.S. 23, and 197 U.S. 577, all of which is identified on maps jointly prepared and certified by the state surveyors of Missouri and Nebraska and identified as the "Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact Maps," incorporated in this act and made a part of this act by reference, and which maps shall be filed with the secretaries of state of Missouri and Nebraska. This center line of the main channel of the Missouri River between the states is also described in this act by metes and bounds on the "Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact Maps" incorporated in this act by reference and made a part of this act. This center line of the main channel of the Missouri River as described on such maps shall be referred to as the "compromise boundary."

Article III: Relinquishment of Sovereignty

The state of Missouri hereby relinquishes to the state of Nebraska all sovereignty over all lands lying on the Nebraska side of such compromise boundary and the state of Nebraska hereby relinquishes to the state of Missouri all sovereignty over all lands lying on the Missouri side of such compromise boundary except for that land known as McKissick's Island which is identified on the "Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact Maps" incorporated in this act by reference and made a part of this act.

Article IV: Pending Litigation

Nothing in the act shall be deemed or construed to affect any litigation pending in the courts of either of the states of Missouri or Nebraska as of the effective date of the compact concerning the title to any of the lands, sovereignty over which is relinquished by the state of Missouri to the state of Nebraska or by the state of Nebraska to the state of Missouri and any matter concerning the title to lands, sovereignty over which is relinquished by either state to the other, may be continued in the courts of the state where pending until the final determination thereof.

Article V: Public Records

(a) The public record of real estate titles, mortgages and other liens in the state of Missouri to any lands, the sovereignty over which is relinquished by the state of Missouri to the state of Nebraska, shall be accepted as evidence of record title to such lands, to and including the effective date of such relinquishment by the state of Missouri, by the courts of the state of Nebraska.
(b) The public record of real estate titles, mortgages and other liens in the state of Nebraska to any lands, the sovereignty over which is relinquished by the state of Nebraska to the state of Missouri, shall be accepted as evidence of record title to such lands, to and including the effective date of such relinquishment by the state of Nebraska, by the courts of the state of Missouri.
(c) As to lands, the sovereignty over which is relinquished, the recording officials of the counties of each state shall accept for filing documents of title using legal descriptions derived from the land descriptions of the other state. The acceptance of such documents for filing shall have no bearing upon the legal effect or sufficiency thereof.

Article VI: Taxes

(a) Taxes lawfully imposed by either Missouri or Nebraska may be levied and collected by such state or its authorized governmental subdivisions and agencies on land, jurisdiction over which is relinquished by the taxing state to the other, and any liens or other rights accrued or accruing, including the right of collection, shall be fully recognized and the county treasurers of the counties or other taxing authorities affected shall act as agents in carrying out the provisions of this article; provided, that all liens or other rights arising out of the imposition of taxes, accrued or accruing, shall be claimed or asserted within five years after the compact becomes effective and if not so claimed or asserted shall be forever barred.
(b) The lands, sovereignty over which is relinquished by the state of Missouri to the state of Nebraska, shall not thereafter be subject to the imposition of taxes in the state of Missouri from and after the effective date of the compact. The lands, sovereignty over which is relinquished by the state of Nebraska to the state of Missouri, shall not thereafter be subject to the imposition of taxes in the state of Nebraska from and after the effective date of the compact.

Article VII: Private Rights

(a) The compact shall not deprive any riparian owner of such riparian owner's rights based upon riparian law and the establishment of the compromise boundary between the states shall not in any way be deemed to change or affect the boundary line of riparian owners along the Missouri River as between such owners. The establishment of the compromise boundary shall not operate to limit such riparian owner's rights to accretions across such compromise boundary.
(b) No private individual or entity claims of title to lands along the Missouri River, over which sovereignty is relinquished by the compact, shall be prejudiced by the relinquishment of such sovereignty and any claims or possessory rights necessary to establish adverse possession shall not be terminated or limited by the fact that the jurisdiction over such lands may have been transferred by the compact. Neither state will assert any claim of title to abandoned beds of the Missouri River, lands along the Missouri River, or the bed of the Missouri River based upon any doctrine of state ownership of the beds or abandoned beds of navigable waters, as against any land owners or claimants claiming interest in real estate arising out of titles, muniments of title, or exercises of jurisdiction of or from the other state, which titles or muniments of title commenced prior to the effective date of this compact.

Article VIII: Readjustment of Boundary by Negotiation

If at any time after the effective date of the compact the Missouri River shall move or be moved by natural means or otherwise so that the flow thereof at any point along the course forming the boundary between the states occurs entirely within one of the states, each state at the request of the other, agrees to enter into and conduct negotiations in good faith for the purpose of readjusting the boundary at the place or places where such movement occurred consistent with the intent, policy and purpose hereof that the boundary will be placed within the Missouri River.

Article IX: Effective Date

(a) The compact shall become effective on the first day of January of the year after it is ratified by the general assembly of the state of Missouri and the legislature of the state of Nebraska and approved by the Congress of the United States.
(b) As of the effective date of the compact, the state of Missouri and the state of Nebraska shall relinquish sovereignty over the lands described in the compact and shall assume and accept sovereignty over such lands ceded to them as provided in the compact.
(c) In the event the compact is not approved by the general assembly of the state of Missouri and the legislature of the state of Nebraska on or before October 1, 1999, and approved by the Congress of the United States within three years from the date of such approval, the compact shall be inoperative and for all purposes shall be void.

Article X: Enforcement

Nothing in the compact shall be construed to limit or prevent either state from instituting or maintaining any action or proceeding, legal or equitable, in any court having jurisdiction, for the protection of any right under the compact or the enforcement of any of its provisions.

Article XI: Amendments

The compact shall remain in full force and effect unless amended in the same manner as that by which it was created.

See also

External links

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References