Monday, April 29, 2013

Lauderbaugh v. Williams case brief

Lauderbaugh v. Williams case brief
186 A.2d 39

CASE SYNOPSIS: Plaintiff and defendant each appealed judgments of the Court of Common Pleas of Wayne County (Pennsylvania) in two actions involving conveyances of land subject to restrictive covenants.

FACTS: When plaintiff sold lots of land, she entered into an agreement with defendant lot purchasers providing that future purchasers would be required to become members of a private association. Several years later, plaintiff instituted suit to quiet title and to have the agreement declared void. Defendants instituted suit to set aside an unauthorized conveyance and to enjoin similar conveyances. The trial court upheld the agreement's validity but limited its application to certain lots, set aside the conveyances, and enjoined future conveyances. Both parties appealed.

The court reversed the judgment in part, finding the agreement invalid because it unreasonably limited plaintiff's freedom of alienation of land since conveyances could be made only to members of the association, and control of association membership did not lie with plaintiff but with association members, who were free to deny membership for any or no reason.

CONCLUSION: Judgment reversed in part as the restrictive covenant precluding plaintiff from conveying land to anyone other than association members was an unreasonable restriction on her freedom of alienation of land.

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