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In 2009, Dessel, Dessel’s daughter (Seal), and Cummings purchased land in Fieldbrook containing a small and dilapidated residence with a carport, planning to remodel the residence, converting it to a vacation rental. Cummings made a downpayment of $80,000, and the seller agreed to carry a note for the balance of $120,000, to be due in full in June 2015. The parties committed to make monthly interest-only payments to the seller of about $700 and to pay all insurance and property taxes. After disputes arose, Cummings sought partition of the property. The court ordered partition by the appraisal method: each half-owner could bid to purchase the other half-owner‟s interest, with the minimum bid set by appraisal. The court of appeal affirmed. While the trial court erred when it ordered partition of the property by appraisal because the parties had not agreed to that method, as is required by the statute, the defendants have not shown the error was prejudicial. View "Cummings v. Dessel" on Justia Law

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At issue in this case was the permissibility of preaward interest on an insurance appraisal award under the preaward interest statute, Minn. Stat. 549.09, subd. 1(b). Cincinnati Insurance Company issued James Poehler a homeowner’s insurance policy that provided replacement cost coverage for Poehler’s home and personal property. After a fire damaged Poehler’s property, Poehler demanded an appraisal under the appraisal clause of the policy. The appraisers issued an award, determining that Poehler’s total loss was more than what Cincinnati had paid by the time of the appraisal hearing. The district court confirmed the appraisal award and granted Poehler preaward interest. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the preaward interest statute does not apply to appraisal awards pursuant to an insurance policy in the absence of “an underlying breach of contract or actionable wrongdoing.” The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) section 549.09 does not require a finding of wrongdoing for the recovery of a reward interest on appraisal awards; (2) the loss payment provision in Cincinnati’s insurance policy did not preclude Poehler from recovering preaward interest on the appraisal award; and (3) the loss payment provision in Minn. Stat. 65A.01, the Minnesota standard fire insurance policy, did not apply in this case. View "Poehler v. Cincinnati Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court declined Appellants’ invitation to depart from the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Camara v. Municipal Court, 387 U.S. 523 (1967) and hold that Minnesota’s constitution requires that an administrative search warrant be supported by probable cause of the sort required in a criminal investigation. Camara held that an administrative warrant satisfies the probable cause requirement if reasonable legislative or administrative standards for conducting an unconsented-to rental housing inspection are satisfied with respect to a particular dwelling. In this case, the City of Golden Valley petitioned the district court for an administrative search warrant to search rental property for compliance with the city code. The district court denied the petition for the administrative search warrant, concluding that the issuance of such a search warrant was foreclosed without suspicion of a code violation. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Minnesota Constitution does not require individualized suspicion of a code violation to support an administrative search warrant for a rental housing inspection. View "City of Golden Valley v. Wiebesick" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff owned and lived on a 400-acre estate and horse farm in Barrington Hills, Illinois, leasing the horse farm, “Horizon Farms,” to their company, Royalty Farms, LLC, which managed the farm’s operations. Their mortgage was foreclosed in 2013. The Forest Preserve District of Cook County bought the property at the foreclosure sale. Royalty Farms was not a party to the foreclosure proceeding, but the court entered a Dispossession Order, directing Plaintiff to vacate the property. The Forest Preserve District apparently tolerated the continued presence of several horses while plaintiff continued visiting the property daily to care for them. After nine months Plaintiff was arrested and prosecuted for criminal trespass. She was acquitted because the judge could not conclusively determine that she had been told not to enter the property. A year later she filed suit, claiming false arrest and malicious prosecution. The Seventh Circuit affirmed the dismissal of the suit. Regardless of whether Plaintiff entered the property as an employee of Royalty Farms, there was probable cause to arrest Plaintiff for criminal trespass; she acknowledged receiving an emailed warning and defying it and she was aware of the court order. View "Squires-Cannon v. Forest Preserve District of Cook County" on Justia Law

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The Surface Water Withdrawal, Permitting, Use, and Reporting Act regulated surface water withdrawals in South Carolina. Surface water is defined as "all water that is wholly or partially within the State . . . or within its jurisdiction, which is open to the atmosphere and subject to surface runoff, including, but not limited to, lakes, streams, ponds, rivers, creeks, runs, springs, and reservoirs . . . ." Agricultural users are treated differently under the Act. Plaintiffs jointly filed this action against DHEC in Barnwell County, challenging the Act's registration system for agricultural users, contending, amongst other things, that the Act’s provisions were an unconstitutional taking, a violation of due process, and a violation of the public trust doctrine. The circuit court granted summary judgment against the plaintiffs on the grounds the case did not present a justiciable controversy, both because the plaintiffs lacked standing and the dispute was not ripe for judicial determination. Finding no reversible error with that holding, the South Carolina Supreme Court affirmed. View "Jowers v. SCDHEC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court in this family dispute regarding once commonly held property that was subdivided and jointly used, then fenced. Plaintiffs, Ashlee Ganoung and Amber Mason, owned the southern half to he property (Ganoung and Mason property) and Defendants owned the northern half of the property (Stiles property). The Supreme Court held (1) the district court correctly determined the location and scope of the Stiles express easement over the Ganoung and Mason property, but the court erred by limiting the easement to only one, rather than two, roadways; (2) the district court did not err by requiring the Stiles to pay for fencing a new road should the Stiles choose to relocate their easement; and (3) the district court did not err in failing to determine the location, width, and scope of the Ganoung and Mason easement across the Stiles property. View "Ganoung v. Stiles" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that retained the reduced values that the Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) adopted for eighteen condominium parcels in Franklin County for tax years 2011 through 2013. The BTA upheld the BOR’s valuation on the grounds that it found no evidence to counter the BOR’s decision to modify the auditor’s original assessment of the property. The Supreme Court held (1) the BTA erred by relying on a presumption of validity rather than independently weighing the evidence; and (2) under recent case law, the reduced values ordered by the BOR were properly carried forward from tax year 2011 to tax years 2012 and 2013. View "Columbus City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against Wells Fargo, alleging that the foreclosure sale of his house was invalid under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA), 50 U.S.C. 3953(a), 3953(c), which requires a lender to obtain a court order before foreclosing on or selling property owned by a current or recent servicemember where the mortgage obligation "originated before the period of the servicemember's military service." The Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Wells Fargo, holding that plaintiff's mortgage obligation originated when he was in the Navy, it was not a protected obligation under section 3953(a), and his later enlistment in the Army did not change that status to afford protection retroactively. View "Sibert v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia Law

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Appeals from decisions of the Industrial Commission cannot be turned into inverse condemnation actions; the Industrial Commission was authorized to modify previously designated spacing units. Arthur Langved appealed an Industrial Commission grant of Continental Resources, Inc.'s application to terminate existing oil and gas well spacing units, to create new spacing units, and to modify well setback requirements for portions of the Elm Tree-Bakken and Sanish-Bakken pools. Langved owned leased and unleased mineral interests in property covered by spacing units created by the Commission in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, Continental filed an application to amend these Commission orders to terminate the existing spacing units and to create new spacing units. On appeal, Langved stated the issue was "[w]hether the [Commission] could constitutionally, statutorily, or discretionally reunitize a producing drilling and spacing unit and thereby diminish his vested property rights and take his surface estate to afford Continental and the state of North Dakota an opportunity to access submerged minerals under the sections added in the enlarged unit." The North Dakota Supreme Court determined the Commission regularly pursued its authority, and its findings and conclusions were sustained by the law and by substantial and credible evidence. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment. View "Langved v. Continental Resources, Inc." on Justia Law

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Louisiana law recognizes the right to extract minerals separately from ownership of the land (mineral servitudes). Servitudes generally revert back to the landowner if not used for 10 years. The servitudes at issue were established in 1932-1934, by deeds contemplating the 10-year prescriptive period. From 1934-1937, the United States acquired 180,000 acres of the encumbered land in Kisatchie National Forest. In 1940, Louisiana’s Act 315 retroactively declared that outstanding mineral rights in land sold to the United States would be imprescriptible while the government remained the landowner. Nebo acquired mineral rights in 1942, believing its rights imprescriptible. The government sought a declaratory judgment. The Fifth Circuit held that Nebo’s rights to a specific tract were imprescriptible. In 1973, the Supreme Court held that Act 315 could not be applied retroactively to land acquired by the government under the Migratory Bird Conservation Act. The Court did not overrule Nebo, distinguishing its facts. The government began issuing mineral leases. Servitude owners sought declaratory relief. The Fifth Circuit held that Act 315 could not provide the federal rule of decision and that the Kisatchie servitudes had prescribed. The Supreme Court denied certiorari. One servitude holder sued in the Claims Court, based on the same facts. The Federal Circuit affirmed dismissal of permanent takings claims, contract claims, and some temporary takings claims under the statute of limitations. The Claims Court subsequently held that remaining temporary takings claims were barred by 28 U.S.C. 1500; because the judicial takings claim would require the Claims Court to question the merits of the Fifth Circuit’s decision it also lacked jurisdiction over those claims. View "Petro-Hunt, L.L.C. v. United States" on Justia Law