Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in South Dakota Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court upheld the action of the Deuel County Board of Adjustment (Board) unanimously approving the application filed by Crowned Ridge Wind II, LLC for a special exception permit (SEP) to construct and operate a wind energy system (WES) in Deuel County, holding that there was no error.In 2004, the Deuel County Board of County Commissioners adopted the Deuel County Zoning Ordinance, which created the Board and authorized it to decide requests for "special exceptions" from zoning standards. In 2018, Crowned Ridge sought an SEP from the Board for the construction and operation of a WES with up to sixty-eight wind turbines to be build on property zoned for agricultural use. The Board granted the SEP, and the circuit court upheld the decision. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the ordinance complied with the statuary requirements of S.D. Codified Laws 11-2-17.3, and therefore, the Board acted within its jurisdiction by considering crowned Ridge's application for an SEP; (2) the Board acted within the requirements of the ordinance and S.D. Codified Laws chapter 11-2; and (3) as to Appellants, landowners in Deuel County, the Board did not illegally grant an easement over Appellants' property, nor did the ordinance violate due process. View "Ehlebracht v. Deuel County Planning Commission" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court affirming the decision of the Spink County Board of Adjustment (Board) to deny the application filed by Arrow Farms RE, LLC for a conditional use permit (CUP) for a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO), holding that there was no error.Preston Miles, who owned the land where Arrow Farms planned to build the CAFO, petitioned for a writ of certiorari, arguing that the Board's decision was arbitrary and that several Board members were biased or held an unreasonable risk of bias. The circuit court affirmed the denial of the CUP, determining that none of the Board members had a disqualifying interest. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Miles was not entitled to relief on his allegations. View "Miles v. Spink County Board of Adjustment" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed this appeal from the circuit court's grant of First National Bank's (FNB) motion for summary judgment regarding FNB's foreclosure and replevin claims against Justin and Sharmin Inghram and denying FNB's request to dismiss the Inghrams' counterclaim for fraud, holding that the certification order in this case failed to satisfy Rule 54(b) requirements.The circuit court held that the Inghrams failed properly to resist FNB's summary judgment motion on its foreclosure and replevin claims and denied summary judgment on one of the Inghrams' counterclaims. After the court issued its final order and judgment, the Inghrams appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal based on the circuit court's order for Rule 54(b) certification, holding that the the circuit court abused its discretion in certifying the foreclosure and replevin claims as a final judgment under S.D. Codified Laws 15-6-54(b). View "First National Bank v. Inghram" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the circuit court determining that Arthur and Jerilyn Gregg were not estopped from asserting that their son-in-law, Tyler McGregor, had no rights in their cattle, and therefore, First Dakota National Bank did not have a security interest in the Greggs' cattle, holding that the circuit court did not err.Tyler and Rebecca McGregor operated a cattle feedlot, and First Dakota was their lender. In 2015, Tyler agreed to feed 289 head of cattle owned by the Greggs. When First Dakota conducted an inspection of the McGregors' cattle operation, Tyler misled the bank into believing that he owned the Greggs' cattle. First Dakota later filed this declaratory judgment action seeking a judgment against the Greggs for the value of the cattle returned to the Greggs. The court held that the Greggs were not estopped from asserting that the McGregor had no rights in the Greggs' cattle, and therefore, First Dakota could not claim a security interest in them. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the evidence did not support the first inquiry necessary to establish an estoppel claim. View "First Dakota National Bank v. Gregg" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the order of the circuit court granting a petition to terminate a joint tenancy filed with the estate action of one of the deceased tenants without notice or a hearing, holding that the failure to provide notice was not harmless.Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) this Court had appellate jurisdiction to review the circuit court's order terminating the joint tenancy; (2) the petition to terminate the joint tenancy was a formal proceeding requiring notice, and the failure to comply with the notice requirements was not harmless; and (3) Appellant's argument that he was immediately vested with the joint tenancy land either by the right of survivorship or the provisions of the Uniform Probate Code was not a basis for affirming the order terminating the joint tenancy. View "In re Estate of Petrik" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of Roy and Kristen Maynard and dismissing the complaint against them brought by Robert and Sharlene Wilson, the owners of an adjacent property, alleging that the Maynards violated restrictive covenants, holding that the circuit court did not err.The Maynards built the home at issue in a residential development and rented the home to short-term guests. The Wilsons brought this action claiming that the Maynards violated the restrictive covenants limiting use of properties in the development to "residential purposes." The circuit court concluded that short-term rentals were a residential purpose and granted summary judgment for the Maynards. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Maynards did not breach the covenants, and therefore, the circuit court properly granted their motion for summary judgment. View "Wilson v. Maynard" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the circuit court granting summary judgment in favor of Bennie Garber and Dakotaraptor, LLC on this action to quiet title to a section of roadway called Caster's Road filed by Howard and Bonita Nelson and Philip and Evelyn Nelson, holding that the circuit court did not err.The Nelsons bought this action to quiet title and to obtain a judgment declaring that they possess fee title to Caster's Road. The circuit court granted summary judgment for Garber and Dakotaraptor, ruling that Caster's Road was not a public road that the county or township did not maintaining that the Nelsons had no right to control who used the road. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the circuit court (1) did not err by considering parol evidence to determine whether Caster's Road is public or private; (2) did not err by holding that the road is a public roadway; and (3) did not err by holding that the Nelsons had no right to control who drives on the road. View "Nelson v. Garber" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the circuit court concluding that Sierra Club lacked standing to challenge the Clay County Board of Adjustment's decision affirming the issuance of a permit for the operation of a concentrated animal feeding operation in Clay County, holding that the circuit court erred in holding that Sierra Club lacked representational standing.In concluding that Sierra Club lacked standing under S.D. Codified Laws 11-2 to bring this lawsuit in its own right, the circuit court concluded that Sierra Club was not a person aggrieved and lacked representational standing because participation in the suit by its individual members was required. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the circuit circuit properly determined that Sierra Club lacked standing to bring suit in its own right under section 11-2-61; and (2) the circuit court erred in concluding that Sierra Club lacked representational standing. View "Sierra Club v. Clay County Board Of Adjustment" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part the decision of the circuit court granting partial summary judgment to Plaintiff on his complaint seeking an injunction and restraining order against Plowboy, LLC requiring Plowboy to remove two gates placed across a section-line highway, holding that the circuit court did not err in granting partial summary judgment but erred in directing removal of the gates within twenty days.In his complaint, Plaintiff argued that the gates were unlawful obstructions across a section-line highway. The circuit court concluded that Defendant failed to establish that the road was unimproved, and therefore, the gates must be removed. The court then ordered Defendant to remove the gates within twenty days. The Supreme Court affirmed in part and vacated in part, holding (1) the circuit court did not err in granting partial summary judgment; but (2) the circuit court did not certify its ruling as a final judgment, and therefore, the circuit court was unable to order the removal of the gates within twenty days. View "Patterson v. Plowboy" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the order of the circuit court applying the doctrine of equitable tolling, thus allowing Noreen French to bring an action against the Estate of Norman D. French to enforce a contract for deed relating to the sale of two quarter sections of farmland, holding that the circuit court erred in applying the doctrine of equitable tolling.Norman French, who farmed two quarters of land in Beadle County, entered into a contract for deed with Alan and Noreen French, his son and daughter-in-law, to sell them the land for $10,000. Noreen continued to farm the two quarters after both Norman and Alan passed away. When Noreen learned that Norman had never conveyed the two quarters, the Estate commenced an action to discharge the contract for deed. The circuit court denied the Estate's petition. Noreen then filed this action alleging that she satisfied her obligations under the contract for deed and requesting that the court order the Estate to deliver a deed conveying legal title to the two quarters of farmland. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the court's decision to apply the doctrine of equitable tolling was not sustainable. View "In re Estate of French" on Justia Law