126 F.3d 1294 (10th Cir. 1997), 96-1426, Taylor v. Jaquez

Docket Nº:96-1426.
Citation:126 F.3d 1294
Party Name:Zachary TAYLOR, as Executor of the Estate of Jack T. Taylor, Jr., deceased; Taylor Family Partnership, Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. Charlie JAQUEZ, Jr.; Pete E. Espinoza, Elmer Manuel Espinoza, Joe A. Gallegos, Robert Romero, Individually and as representatives of a proposed class of some 110 plaintiffs in civil action No. 81CV5 now pending in the Dis
Case Date:October 10, 1997
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
 
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Page 1294

126 F.3d 1294 (10th Cir. 1997)

Zachary TAYLOR, as Executor of the Estate of Jack T. Taylor,

Jr., deceased; Taylor Family Partnership,

Plaintiffs-Appellants,

v.

Charlie JAQUEZ, Jr.; Pete E. Espinoza, Elmer Manuel

Espinoza, Joe A. Gallegos, Robert Romero, Individually and

as representatives of a proposed class of some 110

plaintiffs in civil action No. 81CV5 now pending in the

District Court of Costilla County, Colorado, Defendants-Appellees.

No. 96-1426.

United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit

October 10, 1997

Page 1295

Albert B. Wolf, Wolf & Slatkin, P.C., Denver, CO, for Plaintiffs-Appellants.

Jerry P. Gordon, William F. Schoeberlein, Otten, Johnson, Robinson, Neff & Ragonetti, Denver, CO, Robert M. Maes, Denver, CO, Rebecca A. Fischer, Sherman & Howard, Denver, CO, David Martinez, Denver, CO, and Elisabeth Arenales, Denver, CO (Jeffrey A. Goldstein, Denver, CO, and Watson W. Galleher, Don, Hiller & Galleher, PC, Denver, CO, on briefs), Boulder, CO, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before PORFILIO, ANDERSON, and BALDOCK, Circuit Judges.

JOHN C. PORFILIO, Circuit Judge.

This appeal presents the question of whether the United States District Court of the District of Colorado properly abstained from enforcing a judgment entered in a federal quiet title action because of pending state court litigation over the rights of individuals challenging appellants' interest in the land. We conclude these circumstances require abstention by federal courts and affirm the judgment of dismissal.

I. BACKGROUND

In the beginning, the 77,524 acre Taylor Ranch was part of an 1844 grant of a million acres of land bestowed by the Mexican governor of New Mexico upon Narcisco Beaubien and Stephen Luis Lee. 1 After the grantees' deaths, much of the land in the Sangre de Cristo Grant, particularly parcels in an area designated the Rito Seco, were conveyed, although the land at issue here, "La Sierra," the Mountain Tract, was not sold until 1960 when Jack Taylor, a resident of North Carolina, purchased it. Located southwest of the town of San Luis in Costilla County, Colorado, the tract contains the only privately owned 14,000 foot mountain in the state. Mr. Taylor's deed to La Sierra recognized all existing rights-of-way and was "also subject to claims of the local people by prescription or otherwise to right to pasture, wood, and lumber and so-called settlements [sic] rights in, to and upon said land, but not subject to rights granted by the party of the first part or its predecessors from and after January 1, 1900...." Rael v. Taylor, 876 P.2d 1210, 1214 (Colo.1994) (Rael ). The representation and substance of the "claims of the local people" dating back to the original grant impel the litigation presently pending in the state district court of Costilla County albeit the federal court's order quieting title granted to Jack Taylor in his 1960 Torrens Title Registration diversity action. Sanchez v. Taylor, 377 F.2d 733 (10th Cir.1967) (Taylor I ).

To preserve that judgment, Zachary Taylor, as Executor of the Estate of Jack C. Taylor, and the Taylor Family Partnership (Taylor, collectively) filed the present action, Taylor II, under 28 U.S.C. § 2283 in the United States District Court for the district of Colorado to enjoin the 110 plaintiffs in the Costilla County lawsuit from attacking the

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validity of the...

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