Justia Real Estate & Property Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio
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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals granting the city of Xenia's request for a writ of mandamus ordering the Greene County Board of Commissioners (the county) to approve the city's annexation petition, holding that the city's petition satisfied the conditions of Ohio Rev. Code 709.23(E). The proposed annexation in this case concerned approximately forty-five acres of land located between Central State University and Xenia. The county denied the petition, determining that the petition did not satisfy section 709.023(E)(1), (4), (5), or (7). Thereafter, the city filed an original action in the court of appeals requesting a writ of mandamus compelling the county to approve the petition. The court of appeals issued the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) a writ of mandamus is a proper vehicle to compel the county to grant the petition; and (2) the city's petition satisfied the conditions specified in section 709.023(E). View "State ex rel. Xenia v. Greene County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals concluding that B.E.B. Properties reserved the right to receive future rental payments for leased land underneath a cell tower when it conveyed the property, holding that the deed did not contain such a reservation. B.E.B. Properties leased a portion of commercial property it owned to a cellular telephone company, and a cellular tower was erected on the site. B.E.B. subsequently sold the property to Keith Baker and Joseph Cyvas. Thereafter, two of the general partners in B.E.B. sold their interests in the partnership to Bruce and Sheila Bird, who believed this transaction included the assignment of the right to receive rental payments for the tower. When LRC Realty, Inc. acquired the property it sought a declaratory judgment that it was entitled to the annual rental payments. The trial court granted summary judgment for LRC Realty. The court of appeals reversed, concluding that the Birds were entitled to rental payments based on the language contained in the deed transferring the property from B.E.B. to Baker and Cyvas. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) absent a reservation in the deed conveying the property, the right to receive rents runs with the land; and (2) the deed here did not create such a reservation. View "LRC Realty, Inc. v. B.E.B. Properties" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied the writ of prohibition sought by a property owner who was the subject of a board of revision foreclosure seeking to invalidate the foreclosure adjudication, holding that the board of revision did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction when it proceeded in the foreclosure action. The Cuyahoga Board of Revision (BOR) entered a judgment of foreclosure concerning real property owned by Elliott Feltner. More than a year later, Feltner filed this original action asserting multiple prohibition and mandamus claims against the BOR and others. The Supreme Court granted an alternative writ of prohibition as to two of the claims against the BOR and its members concerning whether the statutes under which the BOR proceeded violated the separation of powers doctrine or the due process clauses of the state and federal Constitutions. The Supreme Court then made a final determination denying the writ, holding (1) at the time of its judgment, the BOR acted with presumptively valid statutory authority and therefore did not patently and unambiguously lack jurisdiction to proceed; and (2) this Court therefore has no authority to undo the BOR's final judgment and need not consider the merit of Feltner's constitutional challenge. View "State ex rel. Feltner v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals ruling that Appellant's complaint for a writ of mandamus is barred by the doctrine of res judicata, holding that the court of appeals correctly applied res judicata to Appellant's claim. Appellant went into the office of the Plain Township zoning inspector to complain about a neighbor's trees, and the inspector told Appellant that the trees did not violate the zoning code. Appellant later filed a mandamus action seeking to compel the inspector and the Plain Township Board of Trustees to enforce the zoning provision against his neighbor. The court of appeals dismissed the complaint. Two years later, Appellant attempted to appeal the inspector's initial decision, but the board of zoning appeals dismissed the appeal as untimely. Appellant then filed a second mandamus action in the court of appeals seeking to compel the inspector to issue his initial decision in writing. The court of appeals held that res judicata barred the claim because Appellant could have asserted that claim in his first mandamus action. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the court of appeals correctly applied res judicata to Appellant's claim against the inspector in this case. View "State ex rel. Armatas v. Plain Township Board of Zoning Appeals" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the trial court determining that Defendant's use of its barn on property it owned in Litchfield Township was utilized primarily for the production of wine made from grapes and for the sale of wine produced therein in order for the use of the barn to be exempt from zoning regulation pursuant to Ohio Rev. Code 519.212(A), holding that the trial court did not err. Defendant owned a barn on land designated as residential. The Litchfield Township Board of Trustees sought to enjoin Defendant from using its land for weddings and other social gatherings. On remand, the trial court determined that the barn met the "vinting and selling wine" exemption under section 519.21(A). The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court properly applied the primary-use test under section 519.21(A) in determining that the primary use of the barn was for vinting and selling wine. View "Litchfield Township Board of Trustees v. Forever Blueberry Barn, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing Appellant's complaint for a writ of prohibition to vacate judgments in two civil cases, holding that Appellant's claim was barred by res judicata. Appellant previously tried to vacate the civil judgments at issue in this case by filing a mandamus claim. The Supreme Court's dismissal of the mandamus complaint operated as an adjudication on the merits. The Supreme Court held that because Appellant's prior lawsuit attacking the validity of the same underlying judgments had been adjudicated on the merits, Appellant's current claim was barred by res judicata. View "State ex rel. Kerr v. Kelsey" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals affirming the decision of the court of common pleas affirming the decision of the Harrison Township Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) denying Appellants' request seeking approval to engage in sand-and-gravel mining, holding that the BZA erred in denying the request. Appellants filed an application for a conditional use permit to conduct sand-and-gravel mining. The BZA denied the application based on general conditions applicable to all conditional uses set forth in a Harrison Township zoning resolution. The court of common pleas and court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a general standard that does not relate to public health or safety may not be applied to deny an application to conduct mining as a conditional use. View "Columbus Bituminous Concrete Corp. v. Harrison Township Board of Zoning Appeals" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the determination of the board of tax appeals (BTA) of the 2015 tax year value of an apartment complex located in Franklin County, holding that the BTA's decision was reasonable and lawful. At issue was whether the BTA erred in deciding that the sale price paid for the transfer of ownership of a corporate entity, Palmer House Borrower, LLC (Palmer) should be presumed to constitute the value of the real estate owned by that entity. Palmer further asserted that the BTA improperly admitted and relied upon the submitted evidence of the transfer and sale. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA reasonably considered the sale and conveyance documentation; (2) the BTA reasonably determined that the transaction was, in substance, a sale of the real estate; (3) the appraisal offered by Palmer was not the only evidence of value; and (4) Palmer did not show that the BTA's decision violated Ohio Const. art. XII, 2. View "Columbus City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court granted New Wen, Inc.'s request for a writ of mandamus to compel the Ohio Department of Transportation and its director (collectively, ODOT) to commence appropriation proceedings for an alleged taking of its real property, holding that New Wen showed, by clear and convincing evidence, that ODOT must pay compensation for the taking of the property at issue in this case. At issue was ODOT's closure of a certain intersection, which deprived New Wen of access to a state route. The Supreme Court held that an easement agreement expressly preserved the right of access of New Wen's predecessor-in-title right to the state route and that ODOT's closure of the intersection deprived New Wen of its right of access. Therefore, the Court granted a writ of mandamus to compel ODOT to commence appropriation proceedings and pay compensation for the taking of the property at issue in this case. View "State ex rel. New Wen, Inc. v. Marchbanks" on Justia Law

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In this dispute over credit provisions in a real estate purchase agreement, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the court of appeals reversing the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Plaintiff, the buyer of a franchise business and the real property on which it sat, holding that the court of appeals erred. The parties in this case structured the agreement for the sale of the real property to include adjustments that would be made to the overall purchase price based on circumstances present at the time of the closing. At closing, the parties disagreed how one of the credit provisions - the Rents Credit - should be interpreted. The trial court granted summary judgment to Plaintiff as to its request for declaratory judgment interpreting the Rents Credit clause. The court of appeals ultimately reversed, concluding that the plain language of the Rents Credit clause led to a "manifestly absurd result." The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the language of the Rents Credit is plain and unambiguous and supports only the interpretation asserted by Plaintiff; and (2) there is no basis on which to conclude that the plain language of the Rents Credit results in a manifest absurdity. View "Beverage Holdings, LLC v. 5701 Lombardo, LLC" on Justia Law