You are looking at posts that were written on May 19th, 2012.
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An appeals court in Tennessee correctly interprets a conveyance which provided that the lot “shall automatically revert to Seller in fee simple” if the buyer did not comply with stated conditions created a fee simple determinable with a possibility of reverter. Lasater v. Hawkins, 2011 WL 4790971 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2011). The court not only enforced the condition, finding title to have automatically reverted to the seller but granted the seller (and possibility of reverter owner) five years of rent that the present estate owner had collected since the condition was violated.
Posted on May 19th, 2012 by Joseph William Singer.
A Mississippi appeals court ruled that an owner of an RV park on could allow portable cabins to be placed on the property as well as RVs. Jones v. Lutken, 62 So. 3d 455 (Miss. Ct. App. 2011). Many courts would find any change like this that expands the use of the property in any appreciable way to exceed the prior nonconforming use limitation but some courts, like this one, are more forgiving.
Disagreeing with the ruling of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Reagan v. Brissey, 844 N.E.2d 672 (Mass. 2006), an appeals court in New Mexico held that open space designated on a recorded plat is not sufficient to create an easement of access by owners of lots on the map in the absence of evidence the developer made representations to buyers inducing them to buy in reliance on promises those lots would remain open. The mere presence of open space on the map was insufficient to prevent the developer from selling that open space for development purposes. Agua Fria Save The Open Space Ass’n v. Rowe, 255 P.3d 390 (N.M. 2011)
A New Mexico Appeals Court joined the modern trend in rejecting the interpretive rule that covenants should be narrowly construed, instead adopting the modern approach of interpreting the grant to achieve the grantor’s intent. Agua Fria Save The Open Space Ass’n v. Rowe, 255 P.3d 390 (N.M. 2011). When the language of the grant is unclear, “evidence of the circumstances surrounding the making of the contract and of any relevant usage of trade, course of dealing, and course of performance” is relevant in interpreting the government documents. 255 P.2d at 395.
The New York Court of Appeals joined the majority of states in holding that the rule against perpetuities does not apply to options to renew leases. Bleecker St. Tenants Corp. v. Bleeker Jones LLC, 945 N.E.2d 484 (N.Y. 2011). It should be noted that only a minority of states have the traditional rule against perpetuities and New York’s rule is codified by statute. “No estate in property shall be valid unless it must vest, if at all, not later than twenty-one years after one or more lives in being at the creation of the estate and any period of gestation involved.” N.Y. Est. Powers & Trusts §9-1.1(b).