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Hudson v. Irwin

Hudson v. Irwin, 2018 MT 8 (Jan. 8, 2018) (McGrath, C.J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in concluding Hudsons were not entitled to access an easement on the Irwin property; (2) whether the owner of real property who is establishing a general plan development can create an easement upon the owner’s own parcel; and (3) whether the prevailing party award of attorney fees should be vacated.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) yes; and (3) no.

Affirmed and remanded for determination of fees on appeal

Facts: Hudsons and Irwin own real property adjacent to one another. Before being subdivided by a previous owner, the properties were one parcel. A privately owned public airport is on the Irwin property.…

Low v. Reick

Low v. Reick, 2016 MT 167 (July 12, 2016) (Cotter, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding that Reicks’ lot is encumbered by a single easement, the existing road, measured 10 feet from each side of the road’s centerline; (2) whether the district court erred by holding Low lacked authority to sign an application for a permit to improve Reicks’ lakeshore property; (3) whether the district court erred by concluding the maintenance agreement is unenforceable against Reicks for lack of consideration; (4) whether the district court erred in holding that Reicks did not breach the maintenance agreement; (5) whether the district court erred by concluding Low breached the road detour agreement, and awarding damages to Reicks; (6) whether the district court erred by concluding Reicks did not convert Low’s fill material; and (7) whether the district court erred in ordering Low to pay Reicks’ attorney’s fees and costs arising from their counterclaim.…

Algee v. Hren

Algee v. Hren, 2016 MT 166 (July 12, 2016) (Shea, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court properly applied the doctrine of laches to bar all of Algee’s claims not already barred by statutes of limitation.

Short Answer: Yes.

Affirmed

Facts: Algee and Hrens own adjoining properties. Hren have an easement through Algee’s land, including a creek embankment. In August 2010, Hrens began to build a road on their easement to access their property. Algee filed a complaint with the Cascade Conservation District, and the CCD issued a stop work order. Hrens stopped work, changed their plans, and submitted them to the CCD, which further modified them before issuing a 210 permit to continue road construction. In September 2010, Algee received a letter informing him of the approved plan and the issued permit.…

Bardsley v. Pluger

Bardsley v. Pluger, 2015 MT 301 (Oct. 20, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d & rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court abused its discretion by issuing an amended order of protection; (2) whether the district court abused its discretion by denying the Plaintiffs’ motion to amend their complaint; (3) whether the district court erred by granting Defendants’ motion for summary judgment; and (4) whether the district court abused its discretion by awarding Defendants attorney’s fees.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) no; (3) no; and (4) no.

Affirmed (2, 3, 4) and reversed (1)

Facts: Scott Bardsley owns property in Troy where he lives with his partner, Dora. Defendants Earnest Anderson and Lizann Pluger live on the adjacent property, owned by Lizann’s uncle, Edwin Pluger.…

Woods v. Shannon

Woods v. Shannon, 2015 MT 76 (March 10, 2015) (McKinnon, J.) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: Whether the district court properly dismissed servient tenement owners’ claim against dominant tenement owners for injunctive relief on grounds that easement was no longer necessary.

Short Answer: Yes.

Affirmed

Facts: Walter and Nereida Woods bought lot 13 in the Arrow Island subdivision in 2007. Jeff Shannon owns lot 13, which borders lot 12 to the north. Shannon has an easement over Woods’ property, which Woodses claim they were not informed of when they bought their property. In May 2013, the Woodses saw an excavator removing vegetation from the northwest corner of their property, and were told Shannon held an easement and intended to build a driveway.…

Hughes v. Hughes

Hughes v. Hughes, 2013 MT 176 (July 2, 2013) (5-0) (Morris, J.)
Issues: (1) Whether Johnny’s undesignated payments to his parents, Jack and Shirley, restarted the statute of limitations on the 1989 promissory note; (2) whether Jack and Shirley possess a life estate in the new house or a right to any of the insurance proceeds; (3) whether Jack is entitled to an easement for stock water across Johnny’s property; and (4) whether the arbitrator exceeded his authority or miscalculated damages.

Short Answer: (1) Yes; (2) no; (3) yes; (4) no.

Affirmed in part, reversed in part & remanded

Bell Generations Trust v. Flathead Bank

Bell Generations Trust v. Flathead Bank, 2013 MT 152 (June 5, 2013) (6-1) (Cotter, J., for the majority; Wheat, J., dissenting)

Issue: Whether the district court properly determined that Bell’s easement rights were subordinate to Flathead Bank’s interests in the property, and were properly foreclosed upon and extinguished by the bank trhough a trustee’s sale.

Short Answer: Yes.

Affirmed

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