Bull Mountain Meadows, LLC, v. Frontier Communications Northwest, Inc.

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 11-02-2016
  • Case #: A157250
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the court; DeVore, P.J.; & Schuman, S.J.

Under ORS 174.109, an entity acts as a public body once an agency relationship is established either through expressed or implied agreements.

 Bull Mountain Meadows, LLC., (Bull Mountain), sought judicial review of an order of the Public Utility Commission (PUC) which rejected Bull Mountain’s position that they are acting as a public body and thus, should not have to pay to relocate utility poles. Under ORS 759.260(1), a “third-party” must pay for the relocation of utilities poles unless that third party is acting as a “public body” (defined in ORS174.109). To establish an agency relationship, there must be “(1) a manifestation by the principal to the agent that the agent may act on his account, and consent by the agent to so act; and (2) the agent must be subject to the principal’s control.” Vaughn v. First Transit, Inc., 346 OR 128, 135, 206 P3d 181 (2009). Bull Mountain failed to establish the first prong of Vaughn to demonstrate an agency relationship. There is no evidence in the PUC records to show the county requested Bull Mountain to act an agent, nor that Bull Mountain had an express or implied agreement to act as an agent to the county. Bull Mountain was not acting as a public body when it asked Frontier to relocate utility poles. Affirmed. 

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