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This appeal stemmed from a dispute over who was the rightful owner of a Martin D-35 guitar that Elvis Presley played during his final tour in 1977. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of the Museum, holding that the Museum was not bound by a prior Tennessee judgment between defendant and the guitar donor because the Museum was not a party to that action and was not in privity with the donor. In this case, the donor had already delivered the guitar to the Museum at the time defendant commenced the Tennessee action. Therefore, the donor had title to the Martin D-35 guitar when he transferred the guitar to the Museum and the Museum owned the guitar. View "National Music Museum v. Moss" on Justia Law

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The parties appealed and cross-appealed superior court rulings regarding claims of defendants, the direct or beneficial owners of real property on Great Island, to deeded or prescriptive easements to traverse a footpath (the Circle Trail) over the Great Island lot owned by plaintiff Dwight Stowell, Jr. Great Island was on Lake Sunapee and lay partially in Newbury and partially in Sunapee. Stowell’s lot was primarily in Newbury, although a small portion of it is in Sunapee. Some of the defendants had Great Island lots in Newbury (the Newbury defendants), while others have Great Island lots in Sunapee (the Sunapee defendants). Because Great Island had no public roads, footpaths were used to get from one place to another on the island. The Circle Trail went around the perimeter of the island. In ruling on pre-trial cross-motions for summary judgment, the trial court decided that the Newbury defendants have deeded easements to use the Circle Trail as it crosses the Newbury portion of Stowell’s lot. The court rejected the assertion that those easements were extinguished because the purpose for which they were created (to provide access to steamboats) became impossible to achieve once the steamboat wharves were destroyed in a 1938 hurricane. Furthermore, the trial court ruled that: (1) only those Newbury defendants who testified at trial have prescriptive easements to use the Circle Trail over the Sunapee portion of Stowell’s lot; (2) only the single Sunapee defendant who testified at trial has a prescriptive easement to use the Circle Trail over both the Newbury and Sunapee portions of Stowell’s lot; and (3) Stowell has the unilateral right to relocate the Newbury defendants’ deeded easements from the front to the back of his property. Stowell appealed the ruling that the Newbury defendant had deeded easements to use the Circle Trail that crossed his lot; the defendants challenged the other rulings. After review, the New Hampshire Supreme Court vacated the trial court’s rulings regarding defendants’ prescriptive easements and Stowell’s right to relocate the deeded easements, and remanded for further proceedings. View "Stowell v. Andrews" on Justia Law

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Consolidated appeals involved two separate circuit-court actions (one an appeal from justice court) emanating from a foreclosure action that were consolidated after one of the circuit-court actions was transferred to the chancery court. Sadie Tillman contested the transfer by filing a motion to reconsider in the circuit court. But the circuit court took several months to rule on the motion. When it finally did, the circuit court denied Tillman’s motion to reconsider, and Tillman filed an interlocutory appeal contesting the order denying reconsideration. Tillman also filed an appeal of the denial of reconsideration under Rule 4 of the Mississippi Rules of Appellate Procedure. Upon review, the Mississippi Supreme Court found that by operation of Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 60(c), Tillman’s appeals of the motion to reconsider were untimely. As a result, the Court dismissed the appeals. View "Tillman v. Ditech Financial, LLC" on Justia Law

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In this appeal and cross-appeal from a final judgment in an action arising from the purchase of real property, the Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court, holding that Nevada law has not recognized implied restrictive covenants based on a common development scheme, and the Court declines to adopt the doctrine based on the record. Appellant purchased a residential lot adjoining Respondent’s residential lot (the Lot). The Lot also adjoined a golf course and included a small parcel of land that had previously been an out-of-bounds area between the golf course and the property. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the district court’s determination that Appellant cannot maintain an implied restrictive covenant upon the out-of-bounds parcel because the Court declines to recognize implied restrictive easements; (2) reversed the judgment of the district court that Appellant waived any claims it may have had against a real estate company, real estate agent, and developer for misrepresentations or failure to disclose information in the purchase process of the property; and (3) reversed the award of attorney fees and costs. View "Rosenberg Living Trust v. MacDonald Highlands Realty" on Justia Law

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In this quiet title dispute between the buyer at a homeowners association (HOA) lien foreclosure sale and the holder of the first deed of trust on the subject property, the Supreme Court reversed the district court’s grant of summary judgment for the buyer of the property, holding that the buyer took title subject to the first deed of trust. Following the HOA lien foreclosure sale, the district court denied summary judgment to the first deed of trust holder in this quiet title action. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a first deed of trust holder’s unconditional tender of the superpriority amount due results in the buyer at foreclosure taking the property subject to the deed of trust. View "Bank of America, N.A. v. SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s determination that Appellant’s deed of trust was extinguished by a valid foreclosure sale, holding that the district court properly concluded that the foreclosure sale should not be invalidated on equitable grounds, the sale did not constitute a fraudulent transfer, and the foreclosure should not be invalidated due to an irregularity in the foreclosure deed. The case concerned the competing rights to property that was purchased at a homeowners’ association foreclosure sale. Appellant was the beneficiary of a deed of trust on that property at the time of the sale. Respondent was the winning bidder at the sale. After a bench trial to determine whether Respondent or Appellant had superior title to the property, the district court quieted title in favor of Respondent, holding that Appellant’s deed of trust was extinguished pursuant to SFR Investments Pool 1, LLC v. U.S. Bank, N.A., 334 P.3d 408 (Nev. 2014). The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) there was no unfairness or irregularity in the foreclosure process, and therefore, the district court correctly rejected Appellant’s equitable argument; (2) the foreclosure sale did not constitute a fraudulent transfer under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act; and (3) an irregularity in the foreclosure deed upon sale does not invalidate the foreclosure as a whole. View "Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v. Radecki" on Justia Law

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William Nelson appealed a judgment ordering the sale of real property, removing him from the property, ordering him to pay past rent, and awarding Steven Nelson and Gail Nelson-Hom attorney fees for defending against his frivolous pleadings. The North Dakota Supreme Court found the district court erred in granting partial summary judgment on William Nelson's claims of undue influence and lack of mental capacity involving the execution of the quitclaim deed to the property and reversed and remanded for trial on those issues. The Supreme Court reversed the award of costs and attorney fees and remanded for reconsideration. View "Nelson v. Nelson" on Justia Law

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This appeal challenged the trial court’s denial of a special motion to strike pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 425.16, the anti-SLAPP statute,, directed at a cross-complaint asserting causes of action arising from a civil enforcement action brought by Feather River Air Quality Management District against Harmun Takhar for multiple violations of state and local air pollution laws. Specifically, this case involved dust. Takhar owned a piece of property in Yuba County. In June 2014, he began the process of converting that property from pasture land to an almond orchard. This process required the clearing, grading, and disking of the land in order to prepare the site for planting. The earthwork generated dust that was carried from Takhar’s property and deposited onto neighboring properties. These neighboring property owners complained to the District. District staff contacted Takhar, informed him the dust emissions were impacting neighboring properties causing a public nuisance, and requested he take reasonable precautions to prevent the dust from reaching the affected properties, such as waiting for the wind to change directions before engaging in earthwork. Violations were ultimately imposed, and an offer to settle the civil penalties was made. Takhar did not take the District up on its settlement offer and instead continued with his clearing activities. The District then brought a civil enforcement action against Takhar. The Court of Appeal concluded Takhar did not demonstrate he qualified for an exemption to the anti-SLAPP statute. The causes of action alleged in Takhar’s cross-complaint arose from protected petitioning activity and he did not establish a probability of prevailing on the merits of these claims. The Court therefore remanded the matter to the trial court with directions to grant the anti-SLAPP motion and dismiss the cross-complaint. View "Takhar v. California ex rel. Feather River Air Quality Management Dist." on Justia Law

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In 2011, Defendants Mitchell Davis, Samuel Stimson, Peter Stimson, and Christopher Torres threw a party at a house they were renting in Boulder to celebrate one defendant’s birthday and another’s college graduation. They invited a number of people, and information about the party was posted on social media. Between 20 and 120 guests attended at various points throughout the evening. Not all who came to the party had been specifically invited by the defendants. Some heard about it from other party-goers. Some guests may have brought their own alcohol, but alcohol was provided by the party hosts as well. Plaintiff Jared Prezkurat and Hank Sieck went to the party that night with Victor Mejia. Mejia had heard about the party through a friend, Robert Fix, who knew the defendants and helped plan the party. Sieck was twenty-years old. None of the defendants knew Sieck before that night. Sieck drank both beer and hard alcohol at the party. Around 2 a.m., Sieck, Mejia, and Przekurat left the party in Przekurat’s car. Sieck drove, at times going more than one-hundred miles per hour. He lost control of the car and drove into a ditch, rolling the car several times. Przekurat was thrown from the vehicle and suffered severe, life-altering injuries. The issue this case presented for the Colorado Supreme Court's review was whether Colorado’s dram-shop liability statute required a social host who provided a place to drink alcohol have actual knowledge that a specific guest was underage to be held liable for any damage or injury caused by that underage guest. Concluding that the plain language of the statute was unambiguous, the Supreme Court held that it did: a social host have actual knowledge of an underage guest’s age in order to be liable for injury or damages resulting from that guest’s intoxication. View "Przekurat v. Torres" on Justia Law

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From 1910-1986, Greenlease owned the Greenville Pennsylvania site and operated railcar manufacturing facilities there. Trinity acquired the site from Greenlease in 1986 and continued to manufacture railcars there until 2000. A state investigation of Trinity’s waste-disposal activities resulted in criminal prosecution and, eventually, a plea-bargained consent decree, requiring that Trinity remediate the contaminated land. That effort cost Trinity nearly $9 million. The district court held that, under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. 9601 (CERCLA), and Pennsylvania’s Hazardous Sites Cleanup Act, Trinity is entitled to contribution from Greenlease for remediation costs. After eight years of litigation, and having sorted through a century of historical records, the court allocated 62% of the total cleanup costs to Greenlease and the remainder to Trinity. The Third Circuit affirmed pre-trial rulings on dispositive motions but vacated the cost allocation determination. The agreement between Trinity and Greenlease did not shift liability away from Greenlease after a three-year contractual indemnification period expired. Trinity’s response costs were necessary and reasonable. The court’s methodology, however, failed to differentiate between different remediation activities and their varied costs, and, as applied, treated data measured in square feet as equivalent to data measured in cubic yards. View "Trinity Industries Inc v. Greenlease Holding Co" on Justia Law