Monday, November 25, 2013

Evans v. Pollock case brief

Evans v. Pollock case brief summary
796 S.W.2d 465 (Tex. 1990)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner property owners challenged an order of the lower appellate court (Texas), which reversed the trial court's declaration that restrictive covenants imposed by deed upon petitioners' property were implied upon respondent devisees' property and the lower court's injunction against respondents from selling the lots without including the same restrictions in the conveyance.

CASE FACTS
Respondent devisees contracted to sell several lots adjacent to petitioner property owners' land for the purpose of building a commercial development. Petitioners, whose deeds contained restrictive covenants limiting the use of the property to residential purposes, sued for equitable relief under the implied reciprocal negative easement doctrine. Petitioners claimed that the restrictive covenants expressly imposed by deed upon their property were implied upon respondents' property. Petitioners sought an injunction to prevent respondents from conveying the property without such deed restrictions.

PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The trial court found for petitioners, declaring that the restrictions applied to the lakefront lots owned by respondents and enjoined them from selling the lots without including the restrictions in the conveyance. The appellate court reversed and petitioners challenged the decision.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed, holding that there needed only be a clearly defined, restricted district to which the restrictions applied as part of the plan of development, for the implied reciprocal negative easement doctrine to apply. 
  • The case was remanded for further consideration consistent with the court's opinion.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed, holding that the appellate court erred in finding that for the implied reciprocal negative easement doctrine to apply, the original grantors had to have intended that the entire subdivision be similarly restricted. The court held that the doctrine was applicable even when restrictions applied only to certain well defined, similarly situated lots. The court remanded for further consideration.


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