Mid-Valley Resources v. Foxglove Properties

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 09-08-2016
  • Case #: A154337
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Flynn, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; & Lagesen, J.

To prevail on a claim of implied public dedication, the proponent must prove that the grantor intended “to devote his property to a public use, and this intention must be clearly and unequivocally manifested by his acts.” The party seeking to establish adverse possession of an easement must demonstrate by clear and convincing evidence that the “use of the property was actual, open, notorious, exclusive, continuous, and hostile for a 10-year period, and that the use was inconsistent with the use of the easement by the owners of the dominant estate.”

This was an appeal of an action brought under the Uniform Declaratory Judgment Act, to resolve a dispute between neighboring land owners. Specifically, Foxglove Properties and Mid-Valley each own adjoining parcels of land. The trial court initially found that Foxglove’s property was subject to a 40 foot-wide public use right-of-way and an adjacent 24 foot-wide private easement across which Mid-Valley could build a road. Foxglove appealed both judgments, challenging the court’s rulings on summary judgment regarding the 40 foot right-of-way and arguing the 25 foot easement was extinguished due to adverse possession. Mid-Valley also cross appealed the trial courts refusal to declare the 24 foot-wide easement as a public right-of-way. The Court found that the trial court correctly rules the 24 foot-wide path as not being open to the public, and additionally, found that there were genuine issues of fact regarding adverse possession, and that the court erred in declaring the 40 foot-wide path a public right-of-way. Reversed and remanded on appeal; affirmed on cross-appeal.

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