Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court dissolving Buffalo Chip's municipal incorporation, holding that the State had the authority to petition the court for such relief and that the circuit court did not err in holding that Buffalo Chip failed to satisfy the residency requirements in S.D. Codified Laws 9-3-1.Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) the circuit court properly allowed the State to institute this action against Buffalo Chip under S.D. Codified Laws 21-28-2(3) and S.D. Codified Laws 9-3-20; and (2) the circuit court did not err in its interpretation of S.D. Codified Laws 9-3-1. View "State v. Buffalo Chip" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court dismissing Petitioners' appeal from the decision of the Turner County Board of Adjustment approving an application for the construction and operation of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) on the grounds that Petitioners lacked standing, holding that the circuit court erred in dismissing the appeal for an inadequate showing of standing.After the Board voted unanimously to approve the CAFO application Petitioners, who owned land near the proposed CAFO, petitioned the circuit court for a writ of certiorari. The circuit court concluded that Petitioners lacked standing because they failed to present sufficient facts demonstrating a unique and personal injury compared to Turner County taxpayers in general. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that Petitioners set forth sufficient specific facts showing a personal and pecuniary loss not suffered by taxpayers in general. View "Powers v. Turner County Board of Adjustment" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of Defendants and dismissing Plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction alleging the existence of an easement allowing access to a gravel pit on Defendants' property, holding that the circuit court erred when it refused to recognize an easement implied by prior use.When Defendants attempted to block Plaintiffs' use of an access road to the gravel pit on Defendants' property Plaintiffs commenced the current action. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Defendants on Plaintiffs' easement implied by prior use claim. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that, under the circumstances of this case, the circuit court (1) erred in applying the substantive law and the standards required by S.D. Codified Law 15.6-56; and (2) erred when it granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment. View "Heumiller v. Hansen" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court holding that property owned by Sharon Orr-Hanson and her husband, Bennet Hanson, was owned as tenants in common and ordering partition of the property after Sharon's death, holding that the circuit court properly found that the property was owned as tenants in common.The personal representatives of Sharon's estate brought this action to have the property sold and the proceeds split evenly. The circuit court determined that a corrective deed terminated what was previously a joint tenancy and created a tenancy in common. On appeal, Bennet argued that the property was held as joint tenants and should go to him alone as the surviving joint tenant. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in concluding that the corrective deed severed Bennet's and Sharon's joint tenancy and created a tenancy in common; and (2) Bennet's remaining allegations of error were unavailing. View "Moeckly v. Hanson" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court determining that a limited private easement granted Thomas Estes the right of access across Lot 2R within the Estes Subdivision solely to repair or install water lines and that a prescriptive easement did not exist in favor of Estes for the use of a road (Easement Road) that crossed Lot 2R, holding that the circuit court did not err.Estes owned Lots 3 and 4R2 in the subdivision, and Kathrine owned Lot 2R. After hostiles developed concerning Estes' use of the Easement Road, the parties filed multiple claims against one another. After several of the claims were settled or resolved on summary judgment the circuit court resolved the remaining claims during a bench trial. Estes appealed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not err when it limited the private easement granting a right of access across Lot 2R solely for the repair or installation of water lines; and (2) the circuit court did not err in determining that the evidence did not satisfy the elements for a prescriptive easement. View "Helleberg v. Estes" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court affirming the assessed value of Appellants' agricultural land by the Meade County Commission sitting as a board of equalization (the Board), holding that the circuit court did not err.Before the Board, Appellants argued that the director of equalization incorrectly applied statutory provisions to determine their land's production value. The Board further adjusted the assessment from an average of $519 per acre down to an average of $512 per acre. Appellants appealed the Board's decision to circuit court. After a trial de novo, the circuit court affirmed the Board's tax assessment of the property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court did not err when it determined that (1) the Board complied with the statutory provisions for evaluating agricultural land in their assessment of Appellants' property; and (2) the Board's tax assessment of the property did not violate provisions of the South Dakota Constitution that require uniform taxation at no more than its actual value. View "Trask v. Meade County Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court denying Karen Dunham's petition for writ of certiorari challenging the decision of the Lake County Board of Adjustment (Board) approving Hodne Homes, LLC's requests for a variance and conditional use permit (CUP), holding that the Board exceeded its authority in granting the variance but did not exceed its legal authority when it approved the CUP.Hodne Homes purchased a Lake County lot to build a facility to store and display boats. Hodne Homes sought the variance and CUP because the proposed facility exceeded the size and setback restrictions for the lot under the Lake County Zoning Ordinance. Dunham, an adjoining landowner, objected, but the Board granted both requests. The court of appeals denied Dunham's petition for writ of certiorari challenging the Board's decision. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the Board exceeded its legal authority under the ordinance when it approved the variance; and (2) the Board did not exceed its authority under the ordinance when it approved the CUP, the Board's decision did not violate Dunham's due process rights, and the Board committed no procedural errors in its approval of the CUP. View "Dunham v. Lake County Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the circuit court's dismissal of Plaintiff's deceit claim and affirmed the circuit court's rulings as to Plaintiff's breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation and fraud claims and as to Defendants' counterclaim seeking damages under two three-year lease agreements allowing Plaintiff to rent Defendants' ranch, holding that the circuit court erred in concluding that Defendants fraudulently induced Plaintiff to enter into one of the leases.Following disputes between the parties, Defendants refused Plaintiff's lease payments for the second year. Plaintiff filed suit, and Defendants counterclaimed. The trial court found one lease valid and binding and the other lease valid but voidable. A jury awarded damages to both parties. The Supreme Court reversed in part and otherwise affirmed, holding (1) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in its evidentiary rulings and in its jury instructions; (2) the circuit court did not err when it found the second lease voidable instead of void; and (3) the circuit court erred when it granted Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Plaintiff's claim that Defendants fraudulently induced him to enter into the second lease. The Court remanded the case for a new trial on Plaintiff's deceit claim. View "Knecht v. Evridge" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Lake County Board of Commissioners, sitting as the Lake County Drainage Board (Board), approving the application for permits filed by Steven Carmody and Edward Becker to install drain tile on their respective properties in Lake County, holding that the circuit court did not err when it affirmed the Board's decision to issue the drainage permits.James Carmody objected to both permits and appealed the Board's approval of the permits to the circuit court. The circuit court applied the abuse of discretion standard of review and affirmed the Board's approval of the drainage permits. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court (1) applied the correct standard of review and burden of proof to Carmody's appeal of the drainage permits; and (2) did not abuse its discretion when it affirmed the Board's decision to issue the drainage permits. View "Carmody v. Lake County Board Of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed and remanded in part the decision of the circuit court dismissing an application for a writ of prohibition, sua sponte, for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, holding that the circuit court erred by dismissing the alternative application for writ of certiorari.Triple K Land, LLC successfully applied to the Hanson County Board of adjustment for a conditional use permit to construct a pig nursery facility. Loren Huber and Amy Nolan-Huber (the Hubers), adjacent property owners, applied for a writ of prohibition, alternatively designating the application as a verified petition setting forth the illegality of the Board's decision. During a hearing, the circuit court granted Triple K's oral motion to intervene. The court then dismissed the application for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) insofar as the circuit court dismissed the claim for writ of prohibition, it did not err; (2) the Hubers complied with the requirements of S.D. Codified Laws 11-2-61, and the circuit court had subject matter jurisdiction to hear the matter by writ of certiorari; and (3) the circuit court did not abuse its discretion in granting Triple K's motion to intervene. View "Huber v. Hanson County Planning Commission" on Justia Law