Monday, November 25, 2013

Appel v. Presley Cos. case brief

Appel v. Presley Cos. case brief summary
806 P.2d 1054 (N.M.1991)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff homeowners sought review of a judgment of the District Court of Bernalillo County (New Mexico), which granted summary judgment to defendants, subdivision owner (owner) and developer. The homeowners requested a permanent injunction enjoining the developer from building on its lot without complying with restrictive covenants. The homeowners also requested a permanent injunction enjoining the owner from certain construction.

CASE FACTS
The owner recorded a set of restrictive covenants. The covenants regulated the land use, building type, quality, and size of the residential single-family dwellings that were to be placed on the subdivision property. The homeowners alleged that the restrictive covenants were used as a sales tool, which they relied on in purchasing a lot and constructing their home. The owner's employees or officers amended the restrictive covenants. The amendment deleted nine lots from the effect of the restrictive covenants. On appeal, the court reversed the judgment of the trial court, which granted summary judgment to the owner and the developer. The cause was remanded for trial. The language in the covenants permitted amendments; however, provisions allowing amendment of subdivision restrictions were subject to a requirement of reasonableness. A determination of whether the exceptions were reasonably exercised or whether they essentially destroyed the covenants required resolution of a factual matter. Thus, summary judgment on that issue was inappropriate. Also, the trial court erred in granting summary judgment on the claims of misrepresentation and unfair trade practices.

CONCLUSION
The order granting summary judgment to the owner and the developer by the trial court was reversed and the cause was remanded for trial.

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