Tiller White, LLC v. Canyon Outdoor Media, LLC

In February 2003, Glen and Rachel Knapp entered into a written lease agreement with Lockridge Outdoor Advertising Agency to place a billboard sign on their property in exchange for annual rental payments. The lease was for a period of ten years, beginning May 1, 2003, with a five-year renewal provision after the original term expired. Lockridge assigned the lease to Canyon Outdoor shortly after it was executed. The lease agreement contained a provision that allowed Knapps to sell an easement to Canyon Outdoor for a lump sum. In May 2003, Canyon Outdoor paid a $12,000 lump sum, and the parties signed an easement agreement. Canyon Outdoor completed construction of the sign in May 2003. Neither the lease nor the easement agreement contained a legal description of the property. Neither document was recorded. In 2006, Knapps sold their property to Tiller and issued to Tiller a warranty deed with no restrictions. Tiller had discussions with Knapps about the lease agreement and reviewed the lease document prior to purchasing the property. Tiller also had a title policy issued that, due to the non-recording, did not disclose the easement. Tiller asserted that he was unaware of the easement until May 2013 when Canyon Outdoor faxed him a copy of the easement. Thus, Tiller argued that he was a bona fide purchaser under Idaho Code sections 55-606 and 55-812. Canyon Outdoor argued that Tiller, at minimum, had constructive notice of the easement and therefore did not qualify as a bona fide purchaser. The parties stipulated to have the district court decide the case on cross-motions for summary judgment. Finding that Tiller did not have actual or constructive notice of the easement and that Tiller conducted a reasonable investigation of the property, the district court ruled in favor of Tiller and found that the easement agreement executed by Knapps and Canyon Outdoor was unenforceable against Tiller. Canyon Outdoor appealed. Finding no reversible error, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "Tiller White, LLC v. Canyon Outdoor Media, LLC" on Justia Law