Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 7
State Boundaries

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Explanatory Note.

7.001. Explanatory Note.--The boundaries of the state of Missouri have been fixed as follows:

The enabling act of Congress (March 6, 1820), authorizing the admittance of Missouri into the Union, described the boundaries of Missouri as follows: (Section 2, Act of Admission, RSMo 1959, Volume 5)

"Beginning in the middle of the Mississippi River, on the parallel of thirty-six degrees of north latitude; thence west, along that parallel of latitude, to the St. Francis River; thence up and following the course of that river, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to the parallel of latitude thirty-six degrees and thirty minutes; thence west along the same to a point where the said parallel is intersected by a meridian line passing through the middle of the mouth of the Kansas River, where the same empties into the Missouri River; thence from the point aforesaid, north, along the said meridian line, to the intersection of the parallel of latitude which passes through the rapids of the river Des Moines, making the said line to correspond with the Indian boundary line; thence east from the point of intersection last aforesaid, along the said parallel of latitude, to the middle of the channel of the main fork of the said river Des Moines; thence down and along the middle of the main channel of the said river Des Moines, to the mouth of the same, where it empties into the Mississippi River; thence due east to the middle of the main channel of the Mississippi River; thence down and following the course of the Mississippi River, in the middle of the main channel thereof, to the place of beginning."

The present counties of Atchison, Nodaway, Holt, Andrew, Buchanan and Platte, located in the northwestern corner of the state were not then included within the boundaries. These six counties were acquired by what is known as "The Platte Purchase", an act of Congress, approved June 7, 1836 (U.S. Statutes at Large, 34, entitled "An Act to extend the western boundary of the State of Missouri to the Missouri River"). In Cooley v. Golden, 52 Mo.App. 229, it was decided that this carried the western boundary of the state to the center of the channel of the Missouri River and that Missouri and Nebraska have concurrent jurisdiction over the river.

In 1849 a dispute arose between Missouri and Iowa as to the true location of the boundary line dividing the two states. An action was filed in the United States Supreme Court and it was determined that the northern boundary of Missouri was the Osage line as run by Sullivan in 1816, from the northwest corner made by him to the Des Moines River; and that a line extended due west from said northwest corner to the Missouri River was the proper northern boundary of the territory included in the Platte Purchase. (Missouri v. Iowa, 7 How. 660.)

In 1870 an action was filed in the Supreme Court of the United States to establish the boundary between the states of Missouri and Kentucky at a point on the Mississippi River, twenty miles below the mouth of the Ohio, known as Wolf Island. It was determined that the boundary line ran along the center of the main channel of the river, as the river had been in 1820 at the time Missouri was admitted into the Union. It was found that at that time the main channel of the Mississippi had been on the western side of Wolf Island. Thus, Wolf Island was within the Kentucky boundary. (Missouri v. Kentucky, 11 Wall. 395.)

Again in 1937, Missouri commenced suit against Iowa in the Supreme Court of the United States to determine the boundary between Clark County in the state of Missouri and Lee County in the state of Iowa. A stipulation was filed whereby it was proposed that the legislatures of Missouri and Iowa pass like bills, Missouri relinquishing to Iowa all jurisdiction to lands lying north and east of the Des Moines River then in Clark County, Missouri, and Iowa relinquishing to Missouri all lands lying south and west of the Des Moines River, then in Lee County, Iowa. Missouri and Iowa each passed such bill. (Laws of Missouri, 1939, p. 476; Iowa, 48th general assembly, chapter 304.) The acts were submitted to the Congress of the United States and approved August 10, 1939. (Pub. Res. No. 74, 76th Congress.)

A controversy over the boundary between Missouri and Kansas is made the subject of a 1949 act (Laws of Missouri 1949 page 311) wherein it is provided that "the center of the channel of the Missouri River, as its flow extends from its intersection with the fortieth parallel, north latitude, southward to the middle of the mouth of the Kansas or Kaw River" shall be the boundary between such states. The act was not to become operative unless Kansas enacted a similar law relinquishing sovereignty over lands lying on the Missouri side of the center of the channel, within two years from its effective date. The corresponding Kansas law appears in General Statutes of Kansas of 1949, sections 82a-521 to 82a-527. (1955) Where island, formed on Kansas side of Missouri river, as a result of a channel change during the flood of 1944, became attached to Holt County, Missouri, it became a part of Holt County under Laws 1949, p. 311, and corresponding Kansas and federal acts. Hall v. Hudgins (Mo.), 277 S.W.2d 637.

In 1981, the 1st regular session of the 81st general assembly, by House Bill No. 147, acted to settle a boundary dispute with the state of Kansas concerning certain property in the vicinity of the French Bottoms near St. Joseph, Missouri. The general assembly ratified and affirmed a boundary survey which set the boundary line as the thalweg line (deep water line) of the channel of the Missouri River, abandoned by avulsion in April, 1952. The corresponding Kansas law appears in Kansas Statutes Annotated 1980 Supplement, sections 82a-527a and 82a-527b. Ratified by Congress by H.R. 4048. Signed by the President on October 16, 1981. Explanatory Note: Changes in the course of the Missouri River whichserves as boundary between the states of Missouri and Nebraskanecessitated this compact.

7.002. That on and after the approval and consent of the Congress of the United States of America to this act and a similar or reciprocal act enacted by the legislature of the state of Nebraska, as hereinafter provided, the boundary line between the states of Missouri and Nebraska shall be as follows: MISSOURI-NEBRASKA BOUNDARY COMPACT

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.

(L. 1990 H.B. 1063, A.L. 1995 H.B. 35 merged with S.B. 123, A.L. 1997 S.B. 29)

Revisor's note: This compact was first approved by the General Assembly of the State of Missouri on April 18, 1990 and signed by the Governor of Missouri on May 9, 1990. The Legislature of the State of Nebraska took no action from 1990 through 1997. In 1998, Nebraska passed Legislative Bill 59 which was signed by the Governor of Nebraska on April 14, 1998, and became effective on July 15, 1998.

On November 12, 1999, HJR 54, which grants the consent of the United States Congress to the Missouri-Nebraska Boundary Compact, was signed into law by the President of the United States and became Public Law 106-101.

Missouri boundary commission established, members.

7.200. There is hereby established the "Missouri Boundary Commission" consisting of the governor or his designee, the attorney general or his designee, the state land surveyor or his designee, two members of the senate appointed by the president pro tem of the senate, two members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, and two persons from the general public appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of the senate. The governor or his designee shall serve as chairman of the commission and shall be responsible for calling the meetings of the commission, managing any funds appropriated to the commission, providing clerical support to the commission, and administering sections 7.200 to 7.250.

(L. 1992 S.B. 571 § 1)

Effective 7-9-92

Terms of office--successors--vacancies--expenses.

7.210. The governor, attorney general, and state land surveyor or their designees and the members of the general assembly shall serve on the commission for a term equal to their terms of office. The appointed commissioners from the general public shall serve for the period of the active boundary negotiations for which the commission has been convened, subject to removal at any time by the governor. The successors to the office of governor, attorney general, and the state land surveyor shall, in addition to all other duties, assume the duties for each office pursuant to this section. The governor shall fill by appointment any vacancy due to the termination of a term of one of the appointed commissioners. All commissioners from the general public shall be reimbursed for their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties, but no commissioner shall receive any other compensation for his* services on the commission.

(L. 1992 S.B. 571 § 2)

Effective 7-9-92

*Word "their" appears in original rolls.

Duties.

7.220. The Missouri boundary commission shall represent the state of Missouri and may enter into negotiations with representatives from any state having common borders with the state of Missouri for the purpose of negotiating compacts with each of these states for the establishment of official boundaries between Missouri and each of these states.

(L. 1992 S.B. 571 § 3)

Effective 7-9-92

Ratification necessary.

7.230. Any compact negotiated by the Missouri boundary commission shall not be binding or obligatory on the state of Missouri or its citizens unless and until such compact has been ratified by the state legislatures of the states involved and approved by the Congress of the United States. The commission shall provide service as necessary during the period of state and congressional ratification.

(L. 1992 S.B. 571 § 4)

Effective 7-9-92

Governor to convene commission.

7.240. The Missouri boundary commission shall be convened by the governor when there is a need to conduct boundary negotiations with any adjoining state. The general public commission members shall be selected when the commission is convened for such negotiation.

(L. 1992 S.B. 571 § 5, A.L. 2007 S.B. 613 Revision)

Dissolution of commission--dismissal of commission.

7.250. As soon as compact agreements to establish official boundaries with any state having common borders with the state of Missouri have been negotiated by the Missouri boundary commission, ratified by the state legislatures of the states involved, and approved by the Congress of the United States, and no other boundary negotiations or discussions are in progress, the Missouri boundary commission shall be dissolved until later reconvened by the governor. If the Missouri boundary commission has not negotiated a compact agreement to establish an official boundary with one or more of such states, which has been ratified by the state legislatures of the states involved and approved by the Congress of the United States, the Missouri boundary commission may be dismissed by the governor on a finding that further negotiation will not result in progress toward the establishment of an official boundary with any such state.

(L. 1992 S.B. 571 § 6)

Effective 7-9-92


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