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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.…

Wicklund v. Sundheim

Wicklund v. Sundheim, 2016 MT 62 (March 9, 2016) (Baker, J.; McKinnon, J., dissenting) (4-1, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court properly admitted the testimony of an English professor interpreting the language of the warranty deed’s royalty interest reservation; (2) whether the district court erred by resolving the ambiguity in the 1953 warrant deed in favor of Sundheims; and (3) whether the district court improperly applied the doctrine of laches to deny Teisingers’ claim to the 3/5 royalty interest.

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

Reversed and remanded for entry of judgment in Teisingers’ favor

Facts: In 1953, Teisingers conveyed several sections of real property to Sundheims by warranty deed, and included language reserving “three-fifths (3/5ths) of Land owners [sic] oil, gas and mineral royalties and three-fifths (3/5ths) of any and all delay rentals on present and existing oil and gas leases now of record against the lands herein described,” subject to “such oil and gas leases” and any assignments of record.…

Bottrell Family Investments Ltd. Partnership v. Diversified Financial, Inc.

Bottrell Family Investments Ltd. Partnership v. Diversified Financial, Inc., 2015 MT 185 (June 30, 2015) (Baker, J.) (5-0, rev’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the election of remedies doctrine bars Bottrell’s claim for damages; and (2) whether Bottrell’s action is barred by laches.

Short Answer: (1) No, and (2) no.

Reversed and remanded for entry of judgment in Bottrell’s favor and a determination of damages

Facts: In 2006, Defendants were developing software programs for auto dealerships. They entered into an operating agreement with Bottrell to form an LLC that would own and operate the two programs. Bottrell owned 50% of the company and the remaining 50% was split among the Defendants. The agreement had a doomsday clause under which a partner could tell another partner that within 90 days it must elect to sell its interests or buy the invoking partner’s interest for a specified price.…