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The United States charged Hall with unlawful gambling and money laundering and obtained a preliminary criminal forfeiture order for 18 parcels in Knox County. The County determined that Hall owed substantial delinquent real property taxes, giving it a first lien under Tennessee law. Under 21 U.S.C. 853(n)(2), a party asserting an interest in property that is subject to criminal forfeiture may seek a hearing on his alleged interest within 30 days. Knox County filed an untimely claim. The court amended the preliminary forfeiture order to cover three more Knox County properties. Knox County filed a timely second claim and requested an interlocutory sale and delay of forfeiture. The United States stated that accrued taxes and interest would be paid, regardless of whether the taxing authority filed a claim, but argued that Knox County would have no legal interest in accruing taxes once title passes, citing the Supremacy Clause, and objected to delaying a final forfeiture order. The Sixth Circuit vacated the forfeiture order. Knox County has a legal interest in the property (tax lien), so the district court erred in dismissing its claim for lack of standing but it is not necessarily entitled to a hearing. The court may ascertain the scope of Knox County’s interest on summary judgment but must account for that interest before entering a final forfeiture order. The court did not abuse its discretion in denying Knox County’s motion for an interlocutory sale. View "United States v. Hall" on Justia Law

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Appellants Ronald and Margaret Swafford challenged a district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Respondent Huntsman Springs, Inc. The action stemmed from the Swaffords’ claim that Huntsman Springs failed to comply with the Master Plan by essentially cutting off their property from the development. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Huntsman Springs after concluding that all of the Swaffords’ claims were barred by the applicable statutes of limitations. It was uncontested that the improvements were completed in 2008. Without ruling upon whether Huntsman Springs misrepresented the development of the property at issue, the Idaho Supreme Court determined if Huntsman Springs misrepresented the development of the Property, the Swaffords could have discovered the misrepresentation when the improvements were completed in 2008. The Swaffords did not bring their misrepresentation action until July 17, 2015, which was nearly four years after the deadline. Finding no genuine issues of fact with respect to the time at which the Swaffords' causes of action accrued, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "Swafford v. Huntsman Springs Inc" on Justia Law

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The district court correctly concluded that Plaintiff owned certain disputed land bordering her property between the high- and low-water marks of Parker Lake, a small lake located in Flathead County, Montana. After Defendants pounded metal fence posts along the high-water mark bordering Plaintiff’s property Plaintiff filed this lawsuit asserting claims for declaratory judgment and in tort based on alleged trespass and nuisance. Plaintiff later filed an amended complaint adding counts of intentional interference with her contractual relationship with her realtors and slander of title. The district court granted summary judgment that Plaintiff owned the land between the high- and low-water marks of Parker Lake bordering Plaintiff’s property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly granted summary judgment declaring that Plaintiff owned the disputed land between the high- and low-water marks. View "Ash v. Merlette" on Justia Law

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Because this appeal was not from a final judgment, the Supreme Court, for judicial economy under this case’s particular circumstances, elected to stay this appeal’s consideration and remanded the case to the trial court. After the Town of Ellettsville’s Plan Commission approved the request of Richland Convenience Store Partners, LLC to amend a subdivision plat so Richland could move a utility easement on its property, Joseph DeSpirito, Richland’s neighbor whose property the easement benefitted, sued for judicial review, declaratory relief and associated damages and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief. An order on judicial review granted DeSpirito’s motion for summary judgment, but the order was silent on DeSpirito’s request for damages and a permanent injunction. Richland and the Commission (collectively, Appellants) filed notices of appeal. The court of appeals reversed the trial court and remanded with instructions to enter summary judgment for Appellants. The Supreme Court granted transfer. The court held that the record on appeal showed no final judgment and remanded the case to the trial court to decide whether to expressly direct entry of judgment under Trial Rule 54(B) or Under Trial Rule 56(C). View "Town of Ellettsville v. DeSpirito" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the business and consumer docket awarding Plaintiff $66,866 in damages in this action alleging that Plaintiff’s property had been damaged by Emera Maine agents while they rebuilt an electrical transmission line and that Emera had not sufficiently repaired the damage. Plaintiff filed his claims against Emera and its contractor, Hawkeye, LLC, and sought several million dollars in damages. After the trial court entered its judgment, Plaintiff appealed and Emera and Hawkeye cross-appealed. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment as modified, holding (1) the trial court’s findings were not clearly erroneous; (2) the trial court did not err when it determined that Hawkeye did not trespass within the meaning of Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 7551-B; and (3) the court by applying the new version of Me. Rev. Stat. 14, 7552(5) in awarding $20,000 in attorney fees to McLaughlin, and the court’s judgment is hereby modified by reducing the award of attorney fees to $1,433. View "McLaughlin v. Emera Maine" on Justia Law

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In this appeal arising from a foreclosure action, the Supreme Judicial Court vacated the judgment in favor of Bank on Plaintiffs’ claim for declaratory relief and remanded the case for entry of summary judgment in favor of Plaintiffs on that claim. Plaintiffs filed claims against Bank for declaratory and injunctive relief, slander of title, and damages pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 33, 551. The business and consumer docket entered judgment in favor of Bank. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) Plaintiffs’ claims presented a justiciable controversy; (2) the trial court did not err by granting Bank’s motion for summary judgment on Plaintiffs’ section 551 claim or slander-of-title claim; but (3) Plaintiffs were entitled, as a matter of law, to the declaratory relief they sought. View "Pushard v. Bank of America N.A." on Justia Law

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The New York State Department of Health (DOH) complied with its responsibilities under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) in assessing Jewish Home Lifecare’s (JHL) application to construct a new residential facility in New York City. Petitioners, parents of students attending a public elementary school next door to the proposed construction site and tenants living in apartment buildings surrounding the site, brought these two article 78 proceedings seeking to annul, vacate and set aside DOH’s determination, arguing that DOH relied on flawed assessment methodologies and failed adequately to mitigate the environmental dangers associated with the construction. Supreme Court vacated and annulled DOH’s approval of JHL’s application, concluding that DOH followed proper SEQRA procedures but failed adequately to consider all relevant mitigation measures. The appellate division reversed. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that DOH complied with its SEQRA responsibilities by identifying and assessing relevant environmental hazards and imposed mitigation measures to protect public health and safety. View "Friends of P.S. 163, Inc. v. Jewish Home Lifecare, Manhattan" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Marin Metropolitan District (the “District”) was a special district created as a vehicle to finance the infrastructure of a proposed residential community. In late 2007, the organizers of the District held an election and approved the creation of the District. At the same time, pursuant to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (“TABOR”), the organizers voted to approve the issuance of bonds and to impose property taxes to pay the bonds on landowners within the District. A group of condominium owners subsequently learned that their properties had been included in the District under what they believed to be suspicious circumstances and that they had been assessed property taxes to pay the bonds. Acting through their homeowners’ association, respondent Landmark Towers Association, Inc., (“Landmark”) the owners brought two lawsuits: one to invalidate the creation of the District and the other (this case) to invalidate the approval of the bonds and taxes and to recover taxes that they had paid to the District, among other things. The district court ultimately ordered a partial refund of the taxes paid by the condominium owners and enjoined the District from assessing future taxes on the owners in order to pay its obligations under the bonds. Both sides appealed, and the court of appeals concluded, in pertinent part, that Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election was timely and that the election violated TABOR and applicable statutes. At issue before the Colorado Supreme Court was whether Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election was timely and the election was validly conducted. The Supreme Court reversed, finding Section 1-11-213(4), C.R.S. (2017), required a party seeking to contest an election like that present here to file a written statement of intent to contest the election within ten days after the official survey of returns has been filed with the designated election official. Without that statement, no could had jurisdiction over the contest. Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election at issue was time barred, and thus, the Court reversed the judgment below and remanded for further proceedings. View "UMB Bank, N.A. v. Landmark Towers Association, Inc." on Justia Law

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Joseph and Monique Howeth’s home shared a driveway with their neighbor Tina Coffelt’s. After the parties were unable to amicably share the driveway in accordance with an easement governing its use, the Howeths sued Coffelt, seeking injunctive relief. The parties ultimately reached a settlement agreement, which included a stipulation to the entry of judgment to resolve the lawsuit. The agreement also purported to allow the parties to seek a $1,000 fine in court if the other neighbor refused to comply with the agreement. When Coffelt allegedly began to ignore the agreement's restrictions on the use of the driveway, the Howeths filed a postjudgment motion seeking an "interim judgment" awarding them $12,000 in fines, plus attorney fees. The trial court denied the motion, finding that it did not have continuing jurisdiction to consider the motion and directed the Howeths to file a new lawsuit for breach of contract. The Howeths appealed, arguing the trial court had continuing jurisdiction to enforce the stipulated judgment and erred in denying the motion. The Court of Appeal concluded the judgment at issue here was a consent judgment, entered pursuant to a settlement agreement and a stipulation for judgment based on that agreement. Consent judgments are not appealable. The Court of Appeal determined that the Howeths did not attempt to enforce the judgment that resulted from the agreement between the parties, instead seeking to determine whether Coffelt had breached the agreement. Thus, the Court surmised, the order denying the Howeths’ motion was not appealable after judgment, and the appeal had to be dismissed. View "Howeth v. Coffelt" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court’s judgment awarding a constructive trust to Longview Energy Company on certain mineral leases and related property and requiring the disgorgement of money derived from past lease production revenues. Longview sued two of its directors and entities associated with them after discovering that one of the entities had purchased mineral leases in an area where Longview had been investigating the possibility of buying leases. The jury found (1) the directors breached their fiduciary duties to Longview by usurping a corporate opportunity and by competing with the corporation without disclosing the competition, and (2) the entity as issue acquired leases as a result of the breaches. The court of appeals reversed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no evidence tracing the entity’s acquisition of any specific leases to any assumed breaches, and therefore, the trial court erred by imposing the constructive trust on and requiring the transfer of leases and properties to Longview; and (2) there was no evidence to support the trial court’s damages award. View "Longview Energy Co. v. Huff Energy Fund LP" on Justia Law