Scott v. Lattig
Annotate this Case
227 U.S. 229 (1913)
U.S. Supreme Court
Scott v. Lattig, 227 U.S. 229 (1913)
Scott v. Lattig
Argued December 13, 1912
Decided February 3, 1913
227 U.S. 229
An error in omitting an island in a navigable stream does not divest the United States of the title or interpose any obstacle to surveying it at a later time.
Purchasers of fractional interests of subdivisions on the bank of a navigable stream do not acquire title to an island on the other side of the channel merely because the island was omitted from the survey.
Lands underlying navigable waters within the several states belong to the respective states in virtue of their sovereignty, subject to the paramount power of Congress to control navigation between the states and with foreign powers.
Each new state, upon its admission to the Union, becomes endowed with the same rights and powers in regard to sovereignty over lands under navigable waters as the older state.
An island within the public domain in a navigable stream and actually in existence at the time of the survey of the banks of the stream, and also in existence when the state within which it was situated is admitted to the Union, remains property of the United States, and, even though omitted from the survey, it does not become part of the fractional subdivisions on the opposite bank of the stream, and so held as to an island in Snake River, Idaho. United States v. Mission Rock Co., 189 U. S. 391, followed; Whitaker v. McBride, 197 U. S. 510, distinguished.
17 Idaho 506 reversed.
The facts, which involve the title to an island in a navigable river and whether it remained public land after the survey, are stated in the opinion.