Anderson v. Bommer, No. 95-310

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
Writing for the CourtBefore TAYLOR; LEHMAN
Citation926 P.2d 959
PartiesJames G. ANDERSON, Jr., Appellant (Defendant), v. Timothy J. BOMMER, Appellee (Plaintiff).
Docket NumberNo. 95-310
Decision Date22 November 1996

Page 959

926 P.2d 959
James G. ANDERSON, Jr., Appellant (Defendant),
v.
Timothy J. BOMMER, Appellee (Plaintiff).
No. 95-310.
Supreme Court of Wyoming.
Nov. 22, 1996.

Page 960

Peter F. Moyer, Jackson, for Appellant.

R. Michael Mullikin of Mullikin, Larson & Swift, LLC, Jackson, for Appellee.

Page 961

Before TAYLOR, C.J., and THOMAS, MACY, GOLDEN * and LEHMAN, JJ.

LEHMAN, Justice.

Appellee Timothy Bommer sought to enjoin appellant James Anderson, Jr. from violating a restrictive covenant in the construction and use of a home located in Jackson. Pursuant to a motion for summary judgment hearing, the district court held that Bommer had standing to bring the action but denied summary judgment as to whether Anderson had violated the restrictive covenant. That issue was resolved by a trial without jury wherein the district court ruled that Anderson had violated the restrictive covenant and enjoined Anderson from further violation. Anderson appeals both rulings.

We affirm.

ISSUES

We are presented with the following issues for review:

I. Whether Bommer had standing to sue for injunctive relief.

II. Whether Anderson violated the "single family residence" restriction of the restrictive covenants of the subdivision.

FACTS

Anderson and Bommer own adjacent lots located in the Sage Subdivision (Subdivision) in the town of Jackson. The Subdivision was created by way of a plat recorded in 1964, which is subject to a "Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions." Bommer purchased lot 34 in 1972, and Anderson acquired lot 33 in February of 1992. Both parties were aware of the restrictive covenants prior to their purchases.

During construction of his home, Anderson showed Bommer the construction plans. Those plans provided for an integrated single-family dwelling as required by the restrictive covenants. During construction, however, Anderson changed the design to include two separate living units in addition to the main living area of the home. Anderson accomplished this by eliminating a door to what was called the "family suite" and finishing a separate living area immediately below, which was shown on the original construction plans as an unfinished basement. Each living unit is accessed solely by separate outside doors, and each consists of a bedroom, bathroom, closet, linen closet and furnishings. In addition, the "family suite" contains a wet bar.

Since 1993, Anderson has periodically resided in the area originally designated on the plans as the "family suite," which he describes as a "motel room," while leasing the main living unit to tenants. In 1995, Anderson's son and a friend stayed in the basement living unit. Anderson is not related to the tenants, and the portion of the home occupied by the tenants is inaccessible to Anderson. Likewise, the tenants have access only to their separate living unit.

DISCUSSION

Inasmuch as the facts are not in dispute and the issues present questions of law, this court conducts a de novo review of the district court's conclusions of law. Samuel v. Zwerin, 868 P.2d 265, 266 (Wyo.1994). In this regard, we treat restrictive covenants as contractual in nature, and they are to be interpreted in accordance with the principles of contract law. McHuron v. Grand Teton Lodge Co., 899 P.2d 38, 40 (Wyo.1995); Kindler v. Anderson, 433 P.2d 268, 270-71 (Wyo.1967). We seek to determine and effectuate the intention of the parties, especially the grantor(s), as it may appear or be implied from the instrument itself. See American Holidays, Inc. v. Foxtail Owners Ass'n, 821 P.2d 577, 579 (Wyo.1991); Bowers Welding & Hotshot, Inc. v. Bromley, 699 P.2d 299, 303 (Wyo.1985); Kindler, at 270-71. Intention of the parties is to be determined from the entire context of the instrument, and not from a single clause. American Holidays, at...

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37 practice notes
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles Sheridan v. State, No. 05-57.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • January 10, 2006
    ...law under a de novo standard of review and afford no deference to the district court's determinations on the issues. Anderson v. Bommer, 926 P.2d 959, 961 (Wyo.1996). In reviewing a constitutionally based challenge to a statute, we presume the statute to be constitutional and any doubt in t......
  • Grace United Methodist v. City of Cheyenne, No. 03-8060.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • June 20, 2006
    ...covenants as contractual in nature, and they are to be interpreted in accordance with the principles of contract law." Anderson v. Bommer, 926 P.2d 959, 961 (Wyo.1996). As the Wyoming Supreme Court has explained: "if the covenant runs with the land, it binds the owner whether or not he had ......
  • Cloud v. State, No. S–11–0102.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 9, 2012
    ...law under a de novo standard of review and afford no deference to the district court's determinations on the issues. Anderson v. Bommer, 926 P.2d 959, 961 (Wyo.1996). In reviewing a constitutionally based challenge to a statute, we presume the statute to be constitutional and any doubt in t......
  • Essex Holding, LLC v. Basic Props., Inc., S-17-0240
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • September 26, 2018
    ...Ass'n , 2016 WY 67, ¶ 16, 375 P.3d 769, 774 (Wyo. 2016) (citations omitted).¶43] We addressed a similar issue in Anderson v. Bommer , 926 P.2d 959 (Wyo. 1996). Anderson and Bommer owned adjacent lots in a subdivision in Jackson. Id. at 961. Restrictive covenants encumbered the lots. Id. Bom......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
37 cases
  • Fraternal Order of Eagles Sheridan v. State, No. 05-57.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • January 10, 2006
    ...law under a de novo standard of review and afford no deference to the district court's determinations on the issues. Anderson v. Bommer, 926 P.2d 959, 961 (Wyo.1996). In reviewing a constitutionally based challenge to a statute, we presume the statute to be constitutional and any doubt in t......
  • Grace United Methodist v. City of Cheyenne, No. 03-8060.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • June 20, 2006
    ...covenants as contractual in nature, and they are to be interpreted in accordance with the principles of contract law." Anderson v. Bommer, 926 P.2d 959, 961 (Wyo.1996). As the Wyoming Supreme Court has explained: "if the covenant runs with the land, it binds the owner whether or not he had ......
  • Cloud v. State, No. S–11–0102.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • February 9, 2012
    ...law under a de novo standard of review and afford no deference to the district court's determinations on the issues. Anderson v. Bommer, 926 P.2d 959, 961 (Wyo.1996). In reviewing a constitutionally based challenge to a statute, we presume the statute to be constitutional and any doubt in t......
  • Essex Holding, LLC v. Basic Props., Inc., S-17-0240
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wyoming
    • September 26, 2018
    ...Ass'n , 2016 WY 67, ¶ 16, 375 P.3d 769, 774 (Wyo. 2016) (citations omitted).¶43] We addressed a similar issue in Anderson v. Bommer , 926 P.2d 959 (Wyo. 1996). Anderson and Bommer owned adjacent lots in a subdivision in Jackson. Id. at 961. Restrictive covenants encumbered the lots. Id. Bom......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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