Articles Posted in Real Estate & Property Law

by
The Supreme Court dismissal this appeal from an order of the district court denying Appellant’s request for a stay of an order of sale in a judicial foreclosure action, holding that the order denying the request for a stay was not appealable. The district court determined that Appellant and his former spouse owed Mutual of Omaha Bank $533,459, ordered an execution sale, and foreclosed Appellant and his former spouse from asserting any interest in the property. Mutual subsequently applied to and received from the district court a supplemental decree ordering that sums paid by Mutual that were not included in the initial decree be added to the amount due Mutual. After Appellant unsuccessfully requested a stay of the order of sale Appellant appealed. The Supreme Court dismissed the appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction, holding (1) because a supplemental decree like the one at issue in this case does not give rise to a right to seek a statutory stay the district court’s order denying Appellant’s request for a stay did not affect an essential legal right; and (2) therefore, the order was not final, and this Court lacked jurisdiction to decide the appeal. View "Mutual of Omaha Bank v. Watson" on Justia Law

by
In this dispute in which an owner of one property sought to bind the purchaser of another property to the terms of a fifty-year lease agreement entered into between different parties, the Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court granting summary judgment in favor of the purchaser, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below. Specifically, the Court held (1) the statute of frauds barred the owner’s claim for breach of contract because there was no privity of contract and the purchaser did not expressly assume the lease; (2) equitable estoppel did not prevent the purchaser from raising the statute of frauds as a defense; and (3) there was no genuine issue of material fact, and therefore, the district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the purchaser. View "Brick Development v. CNBT II" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Court of Appeals reversing the decision of the district court quieting title to certain property in favor of Vandelay Investments, LLC and dismissing Plaintiff’s complaint, holding that the record did not support providing Plaintiff with a remedy he was not statutorily entitled to. Plaintiff’s complaint requested that the court set aside Vandelay’s tax deed and permit him to exercise a right of redemption. The district court dismissed Plaintiff’s complaint with prejudice and quieted title in favor of Vandelay. The Court of Appeals reversed and remanded, determining that Vandelay had failed to comply with statutory notice requirements before applying for the tax deed, rending its deed void. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) Vandelay complied with the statutory notice requirements before applying for the tax deed; and (2) Plaintiff failed to prove that the extension to the statutory redemption period for an owner with a mental disorder applied. View "Wisner v. Vandelay Investments, LLC" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the district court ruling in favor of Plaintiff on his claim that Defendants failed to pay him for work he performed on their residence, holding that there was no merit to Defendants’ assignments of error on appeal. Specifically, the Court held (1) the district court did not err in finding that Plaintiff was entitled to recover under the theory of unjust enrichment when a contract existed between the parties and Plaintiff had a statutory remedy of foreclosure on his construction lien; (2) there was evidence to support the unjust enrichment recovery; and (3) the district court did not err in denying Defendants’ motion to transfer venue. View "Bloedorn Lumber Co. v. Nielson" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s grant of summary judgment in this quiet title action filed by Richard Jordan seeking to invalidate a mortgage lien on the ground that it was an improper encumbrance of the homestead under Neb. Rev. Stat. 40-104 because his signatures on the deed of trust were forged. In a previous order of dissolution and property division, the court allocated to Richard the marital home and its refinancing mortgage debt. In this quiet title action, the court granted summary judgment against Richard, finding that the deed of trust was a valid first and prior lien on the real estate and that Richard’s quiet title action was barred by issue preclusion and judicial estoppel. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) issue preclusion and judicial estoppel may supply the statutory requirements set forth in Neb. Reb. Stat. 40-104 for encumbrances of a homestead; and (2) the district court did not err in finding as a matter of law that Richard’s attempt to invalidate the lien at issue was barred by issue preclusion. View "Jordan v. LSF8 Master Participation Trust" on Justia Law

by
The district court properly found that Peter Zelenka met his burden of proving that a French bulldog named “Princess Pot Roast,” referred to by the parties as “Pavlov,” was a gift from Jason Pratte and correctly ordered the dog returned to Zelenka. The court, however, erred in finding that, with respect to other items of person property in Pratte’s possession, Zelenka failed to meet his burden of proving ownership. Pratte and Zelenka were involved in a romantic relationship for five years until they separated. Zelenka was unable to retrieve items of personal property he claimed were his and filed a complaint against Pratte, primarily alleging a claim for conversion. The court ordered Pratte to return Pavlov to Zelena but ordered the remaining contested personal property to remain with Pratte. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding (1) the court properly concluded that Pavlov was a gift from Pratte; (2) Pratte failed to meet his burden of proving that a Niche leather couch, Niche lamps, and a French bulldog lamp were gifts; and (3) the district court properly found that Zelenka failed to prove ownership of the remaining contested items. View "Zelenka v. Pratte" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court confirming the public sale of a condominium. Appellants, minority owners of the condominium, brought suit against the majority owner, who failed to comply with the declaration of covenants, conditions, and restrictions. After protracted litigation, the district court eventually appointed a receiver to sell the condominium at a public sale, determining that the co-owners would “never be able to work together.” The Supreme Court affirmed the district court’s decision ratifying and confirming the sale of the condominium, holding that Appellants failed to set forth sufficient reasons for the Court to reverse the district court’s judgment. View "Priesner v. Starry" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court dismissing Appellants’ claim seeking damages for breach of contract, breach of warranty, and fraudulent misrepresentation after discovering hail damage to the roof of a real property they were under contract to purchase from Appellees. The district court dismissed the complaint with prejudice and without leave to amend, concluding that the damage was reasonably ascertainable by Appellants. In reversing, the Supreme court held that the district court erred when it granted Appellees’ motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim because Appellants alleged sufficient facts to state claims that were plausible on their face. View "Burklund v. Fuehrer" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirming the valuations of certain grassland properties owned by the Betty L. Green Living Trust and the Richard R. Green Living Trust (the Trusts) that had been established by the county assessor and approved by the county board of equalization (the Board). In its decision, TERC concluded that the Trusts did not present competent evidence to rebut the presumption that the Board faithfully performed its duties and had sufficient competent evidence to make its determinations. The Supreme Court affirmed TERC’s order, holding that TERC’s decision conformed to the law, was supported by competent evidence, and was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable. View "Betty L. Green Living Trust v. Morrill County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment against Borrowers in this action brought by Bank seeking to recover a deficiency owed by Borrowers after it exercised powers of sale under deeds of trust. On appeal, Borrowers argued, among other things, that the district court erred in awarding an excessive verdict for Bank that was unsupported by the evidence. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) there was sufficient evidence to support the amount of damages awarded by the district court; and (2) the district court did not err by refusing Borrowers’ requested jury instructions. View "First National Bank North Platte v. Cardenas" on Justia Law