Monday, November 25, 2013

Horse Pond Fish & Game Club, Inc. v. Cormier case brief

Horse Pond Fish & Game Club, Inc. v. Cormier case brief summary
581 A.2d 478 (N.H. 1990)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant, a member of fishing and hunting club, sought review of a decision of the Superior Court, Hillsborough County (New Hampshire), which granted plaintiff fishing and hunting club summary judgment in an action seeking to have a restraint against alienation contained in a deed voided.

CASE FACTS
A fishing and hunting club was reconveyed a deed from two of its member with restriction. The reconveyed deeds stipulated that the land used by the club could not be alienated, unless 100 percent of the members agreed to a sale, or the club was officially dissolved. The surrounding area of the club became increasingly residential, and the majority of the members voted to conduct a land swap for a more suitable location. The club was registered as a charitable organization. A lawsuit was filed seeking to have the deed restrictions on alienation voided. The trial court granted the club summary judgment.

DISCUSSION

  • The court reversed and remanded holding that the policy of freedom to alienate property prevailed where a restraint was found to be unreasonable. 
  • However, a restraint imposed upon a charity was deemed rebuttably reasonable and a material issue as to the club's charitable status existed.

CONCLUSION
The court reversed and remanded the summary judgment grant to the fishing and hunting club, in the action seeking to have deed restrictions on alienation voided.

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