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The city owned land and a townhome in New Orleans after 1998; its previous owner, Jett, neglected to pay his taxes. Notwithstanding its recorded ownership, the city instituted Code Enforcement proceedings against Jett in 2012. The Garretts purchased the property on October 2, 2015, and recorded the conveyance on October 14. They claim that the building was structurally sound. The city continued to pursue Jett. An administrative judgment was entered on October 30, ordering Jett to pay fines and warning that the building could be demolished. A lien was recorded on December 7. The Garretts were not named and received no notice. On January 15, 2016, their realtor noticed a sign advising upcoming demolition of the property. They contacted the city, which canceled the lien. E-mail exchanges indicated that the Garretts intended to resolve all code issues. On January 27, the city demolished the townhouse. Denying the Garretts' request for compensation, the city sent a bill for the demolition costs. They did not appeal but filed suit alleging denial of due process and just compensation. The district court dismissed the claim as jurisdictionally unripe because they failed to seek compensation in state court. The Fifth Circuit vacated, finding the due process claim, predicated on lack of notice and a hearing, ripe, given the uncertainty of remedies in a state court inverse condemnation suit. The court concluded that the other claims were ripe or would be best resolved in the same suit. View "Archbold-Garrett v. New Orleans City" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff Loon Valley Homeowner’s Association (the Association), appealed a superior court order denying its petition to quiet title to land owned by defendant Lewis Pollock and the decedent, Norman Wallack, based upon a claim of adverse possession. Pollock testified at trial that he and Wallack retained Lot 12 hoping to add it to the Association’s property to offset their loss. Pollock explained that after unsuccessfully seeking direct compensation from the members in exchange for adding Lot 12 to the Association, he and Wallack agreed to allow the members of the Association to use Lot 12 on the condition that the Association maintain the lot, pay the property taxes, and relocate the fence dividing Lots 11 and 12 to its current location, where it marked the approximate boundary between Lots 12 and 13. Following trial, the court found that the Association’s use of Lot 12 was permissive and that, even if the court were to assume that the Association’s use of Lot 12 was such that Pollock and Wallack should have known that the Association had repudiated their permission, it had failed to demonstrate that such use was exclusive for a twenty-year period. On appeal, the Association argued the trial court erred: (1) when it found “a permissive arrangement between Lewis Pollock and the Association, and thus that the Association’s use of Lot 12 was not adverse”; and (2) when it ruled that the Association “had not established that it had utilized Lot 12 exclusively” during the twenty-year prescriptive period. Finding no error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the superior court. View "Loon Valley Homeowner's Association v. Pollock" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court denying the motion brought by Plaintiff, SMS Financial XXV, LLC, for summary judgment and granting the cross-motion for summary judgment brought by Defendants, David Corsetti and 385 South Main Street, LLC, on Plaintiff’s suit alleging that Defendants breached the terms of a promissory note. In the cross-motion for summary judgment, Defendants asserted that Plaintiff was unable to enforce or collect upon the note because the note had been lost. The hearing justice granted Defendants’ cross-motion for summary judgment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) under the plain language of R.I. Gen. Laws 6A-3-309(a) Plaintiff was not entitled to enforce the note because the note was in the possession of the original holder of the note when it was lost, not Plaintiff, to whom the original holder assigned its interest; and (2) pursuant to the statute, Plaintiff was not entitled to enforce the note’s provision mandating that Defendants issue a replacement note. View "SMS Financial XXV, LLC v. Corsetti" on Justia Law

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In this dispute over a strip of real property in the Town of Coventry the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the hearing justice issuing declaratory judgment in Plaintiffs’ favor after having granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment, holding that the hearing justice did not err in the proceedings below. The Town argued that the real property had been dedicated to the Town as a public street in 1946. The hearing justice determined that, even assuming for the sake of deciding that there had been a dedication, there was nothing to support the Town’s position that the dedication was accepted either by public use or by official action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) because the Town explicitly conceded that there had been no acceptance of the purported offer of dedication of the strip of land, the hearing justice did not err in granting summary judgment for Plaintiffs on that basis; and (2) there was no completed dedication of the strip of property because the Town failed to accept the purported offer of dedication within a reasonable period of time and thereby forfeited its right to accept that purported offer. View "Ucci v. Town of Coventry" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal from a circuit court order granting Defendant’s motion to compel arbitration, holding that no statutory authority existed to entertain the appeal as a matter of right. Plaintiffs sued Defendant seeking a declaratory judgment and rescission of a contract for the sale of land and an incorporated lease. The circuit court issued a temporary restraining order against Defendant and a show cause order setting a hearing for preliminary injunction. Thereafter, Defendant filed a demand for arbitration. The circuit court entered an order compelling arbitration on all claims alleged in Plaintiffs’ complaint. Plaintiffs appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal, holding that the order compelling Plaintiffs to engage in arbitration was not an order appealable as a matter of right under either S.D. Codified Laws 15-26A-3(2) or S.D. Codified Laws 21-25A-35. View "Stoebner v. Konrad" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing, sua sponte, Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus filed against George Kral, Chief of Police of the Toledo police department. In his complaint, Appellant alleged that a county court of common pleas judge granted his motion for the return from the Toledo police department of $324 belonging to him and that, rather than comply with the order, the police department deposited the money into the county treasury. The court of appeals dismissed Appellant’s complaint seeking a writ of mandamus compelling Chief Kral and the police department to return the $324 and to award Appellant compensatory and punitive damages. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to state a claim in mandamus. View "State ex rel. Johnson v. Kral" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals affirming the decision of the tax commissioner finding that Ohio Rev. Code 5709.911 subordinated a property’s original tax increment financing (TIF) exemption to the public-worship exemption from taxation. The Fairfield Township Board of Trustees filed a complaint against the continued exemption from taxation as a house of public worship, claiming that by granting the property owner the public-worship exemption and by continuing the exemption, the tax commissioner unlawfully relieved the church of its payment obligations as the owner of property subject to a recorded covenant. The covenant in question related to a TIF agreement entered into between the Township and a previous owner of the church property. The tax commissioner rejected the Township’s agreement, and the Board of Tax Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) by dictating that TIF exemptions be subordinated to other exemptions, section 5709.911 barred the enforcement of the real covenant with respect to service payments; and (2) the Township lacked standing to raise its constitutional challenge to section 5709.911. View "Fairfield Township Board of Trustees v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs in this declaratory judgment action seeking a declaration that an amendment to a declaration creating a condominium complex adopted by Defendant was invalid. Defendant owned nine of the thirteen condominium units in the condominium complex and was therefore the majority owner. Plaintiffs owned the remaining four units. The original declaration expressly prohibited a restaurant use. Defendant, however, unilaterally adopted and recorded a “second amendment” to the declaration that expressly included “restaurant use” as a new permitted use relative to the units owned by Defendant. Plaintiffs brought this action arguing that, to be valid, the adoption of the second amendment required unanimous consent of all the owners pursuant to R.I. Gen. Laws 34-36.1-2.17(d). The hearing justice agreed and granted summary judgment for Plaintiffs. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that for the amendment to be valid, unanimous approval of all unit owners was required pursuant to section 34-36.1-2.17(d). View "Epic Enterprises LLC v. Bard Group, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the superior court granting summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on count one of Plaintiffs’ complaint sounding in adverse possession, holding that granting summary judgment in light of obvious disputed material facts was erroneous. Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint requesting that they be adjudged the rightful owners of certain property by virtue of adverse possession and seeking injunctive and declaratory relief. Defendants filed a counterclaim seeking to quiet title with respect to the disputed areas. A hearing justice granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment solely as to the adverse possession count. The Supreme Court vacated the judgment, holding that there were genuine issues of material fact as to the boundaries of the disputed areas that were not capable of resolution under Rule 56 of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure. View "Coscina v. DiPetrillo" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether Plaintiff was entitled to relief under Rule 60(b)(6) of the Superior Court Rules of Civil Procedure from an order directing him to remove a garage from his property. In 2014, the superior court ordered Plaintiff to remove a garage he built on his property that violated the setback requirements set forth in the Town of Tiverton’s zoning ordinance. Thereafter, the Town removed the garage from Plaintiff’s property and placed a lien on the property for $69,300 in fines imposed by a 2015 contempt order. In 2016, Plaintiff filed a motion to vacate the 2014 order. The trial judge denied the motion. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) because the superior court possessed subject matter jurisdiction to order Plaintiff to remove his garage, and because the granting of the 2014 order did not violate due process, the order was not void; but (2) the unique circumstances of this case and its procedural flaws presented a manifest injustice justifying relief from the operation of the order under Rule 60(b)(6). View "McLaughlin v. Zoning Board of Review of the Town of Tiverton" on Justia Law