Bach v. Bagley, No. 31717.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Idaho
Citation229 P.3d 1146
Docket NumberNo. 31717.
PartiesJohn N. BACH, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Bob BAGLEY and Mae Bagley, husband and wife; and Does 1 through 30, inclusive, Defendants, and Katherine D. Miller, aka Katherine M. Miller, dba R.E.M.; Alva Harris, individually, and dba Scona, Inc.; Jack Lee McLean; Bob Fitzgerald, individually, dba Cache Ranch; Ole Oleson; Blake Lyle, individually, dba Grand Towing; Galen Woelk and Cody Runyan, individually, dba Runyan & Woelk; Ann-Toy Broughton; Wayne Dawson; Mark Liponis; Earl Hamblin; The Estate of Stan Nickell; Bret Hill and Deena R. Hill, Defendants-Respondents.
Decision Date03 May 2010

229 P.3d 1146

John N. BACH, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Bob BAGLEY and Mae Bagley, husband and wife; and Does 1 through 30, inclusive, Defendants, and
Katherine D. Miller, aka Katherine M. Miller, dba R.E.M.; Alva Harris, individually, and dba Scona, Inc.; Jack Lee McLean; Bob Fitzgerald, individually, dba Cache Ranch; Ole Oleson; Blake Lyle, individually, dba Grand Towing; Galen Woelk and Cody Runyan, individually, dba Runyan & Woelk; Ann-Toy Broughton; Wayne Dawson; Mark Liponis; Earl Hamblin; The Estate of Stan Nickell; Bret Hill and Deena R. Hill, Defendants-Respondents.

No. 31717.

Supreme Court of Idaho, Boise, January 2010 Term.

March 17, 2010.

Rehearing Denied May 3, 2010.


229 P.3d 1147

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

229 P.3d 1148

John N. Bach, appellant pro se.

Alva A. Harris, Shelley, attorney for respondents Harris, individually and dba Scona, Inc.; McLean; Fitzgerald, individually and dba Cache Ranch; Oleson; and Lyle, individually and dba Grand Towing and Grand Body & Paint. Alva A. Harris argued.

Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley, LLP, Boise, for respondents Galen Woelk and Cody Runyan, individually and dba Runyan & Woelk. Jason D. Scott argued.

Hopkins Roden Crockett Hansen & Hoopes, PLLC, Idaho Falls, for respondent Earl Hamblin. C. Timothy Hopkins argued.

229 P.3d 1149

Baker & Harris, Blackfoot, for respondents Wayne Dawson and Bret and Deena Hill. Jared M. Harris argued.

Rigby, Thatcher, Andrus, Rexburg, for respondent Estate of Stan Nickell. Hyrum D. Erickson argued.

Aron and Hennig, Laramie, Wyoming, for respondent Miller. Galen B. Woelk argued.

J. JONES, Justice.

John N. Bach appeals an adverse final judgment and a number of pre- and post-trial orders. We affirm the orders and judgment of the district court.

I.

Factual and Procedural Summary

Between 1992 and 2000, John N. Bach acquired various interests in real property in Teton County under variations of the name "Targhee Powder Emporium." However, he took no action to establish a separate legal entity in that name or to file an assumed business name certificate until 2007. Bach also purported to acquire some interests in real property on behalf of the Vasa N. Bach Family Trust, which was established by Bach's mother in 1993 with Bach as the trustee. Bach treated all acquired property interests as his personal property, even executing assignments on behalf of these entities to himself in a personal capacity.

As a result of his acquisition and use of these interests, Bach's relationship with several neighboring land owners and other Teton County residents, including the respondents, deteriorated, culminating in a series of altercations that Bach characterized as "raids" on his property. There is evidence in the record that some of the respondents did enter upon real property which Bach occupied and carried away or caused damage to his personal property, resulting in the district court's entry of a preliminary injunction. There is also some evidence that threats were made against Bach by some of the respondents and vice-versa. However, there is also evidence to indicate that many of the "raids" resulted from actions taken by Bach to block Katherine Miller's access to a parcel of property purportedly jointly owned by Bach and Miller, as well as another parcel held solely by Miller. Apparently prompted by Bach's actions, Miller, Jack McLean, Mark Liponis, and Alva Harris joined together to form an incorporated entity known as Targhee Powder Emporium, Inc., whose name they subsequently used to deed land interests, which Bach had obtained in the name of the Targhee entities, back to allegedly defrauded parties.

Bach filed suit against Miller; Harris; Scona, Inc.; Bob Fitzgerald; Ole Oleson; Blake Lyle; McLean;1 Galen Woelk; Cody Runyan; Bob and Mae Bagley; Ann-Toy Broughton; Wayne Dawson; Earl Hamblin; Stan Nickell;2 Bret and Deena Hill; and Liponis (collectively, the respondents) on July 23, 2002, with some parties added by an amended complaint.3 The amended complaint that Bach filed on September 27, 2002, contained eleven counts. Counts one through four sought to quiet title to the parcels of real property described below. The remaining counts alleged causes of action for slander of title, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, racketeering, malicious prosecution, and malicious harassment. After attempting unsuccessfully to have the amended complaint dismissed, Miller filed an answer and counterclaim against Bach, the Targhee entities, and the Vasa N. Bach Family Trust,4 asserting claims for fraud, trespass, slander of title,

229 P.3d 1150
and breach of fiduciary duty. Broughton,5 Nickell, Runyan, and Woelk also immediately answered. The remaining parties, as discussed below, were defaulted and either had default set aside or judgment entered against them

Bach sought to quiet title to five different parcels of real property. The first parcel, the subject of Bach's jury trial against Miller, consists of approximately 87 acres that Miller and one of Bach's fictitious business entities, Targhee Power Emporium, purchased from Lovell and Lorraine Harrop in 1995. Based on various misrepresentations made by Bach, Miller signed a contract in which she agreed to pay a total of $120,000.00 to the Harrops in order to obtain a one-half interest in 80 acres of an original 160-acre parcel. Targhee would obtain the other one-half interest. Unbeknownst to Miller, Bach arranged to pay the Harrops $105,000.00 to convey the 80 acres to Targhee and Miller and have them refund the remaining $15,000.00 of Miller's money to Bach. As a result of subsequent litigation on the contract, Bach and Miller also received the deed to an access strip of approximately 6.63 acres along the north of the eighty acre parcel. Then, in September 1997, the district court quieted title to the eastern-most 80 acres (less the access strip) in the Harrops. Title to the western half of the remaining 80 acres and the access strip were quieted in Miller, while title to the eastern half of the 80 was quieted in Bach. As a part of a settlement agreement, Miller and Bach agreed to share an undivided one-half interest in the 6.63-acre access strip and in another 3.3-acre access strip.6 The parties also granted each other reciprocal easements for access.

Bach sought to quiet title to a second parcel of 8.5 acres in which he held an undivided one-half interest as a tenant in common with respondent Wayne Dawson. Bach sought to quiet title in a third parcel of 33 acres, known as the "Drawknife Property," in which he held an undivided one-third interest as a tenant in common with Jack McLean and Mark Liponis, who each claimed a one-third interest. Bach also sought to quiet title to a fourth property of 40 acres, known as the "Peacock Property," in which he claimed an undivided one-fourth interest, with respondents McLean, Dawson, and Bach's sister and brother-in-law, Diane and Milan Cheyovich through the Cheyovich Family Trust, also claiming one-fourth interests as tenants in common.

Additionally, Bach sought to quiet title to a 1-acre parcel with a house located at 195 North Highway 33 in Driggs. The property was conveyed to the Targhee Power Emporium by Layne and Cindy Price in 1992. Subsequently, the Internal Revenue Service recorded federal tax liens against the property for $96,000 in delinquent federal tax owed by Targhee Powder Emporium for tax years 1990 through 1993. The Internal Revenue Service sold the parcel to Scona, an entity controlled by respondent Harris, at a tax sale on August 5, 1997, conveying the property to Scona by quitclaim deed in 1998. Bach challenged the sale in state and federal court as being in violation of the automatic stay in his chapter 13 bankruptcy case, which was filed on August 4, 1997. Two federal actions brought by Bach were dismissed for his failure to file an adequate complaint and the state court quieted title in Scona after Bach defaulted. Subsequently, Scona conveyed the property to respondents Bret and Deena Hill.

The remainder of Bach's claims stem from clashes he had with neighboring landowners and other Teton County residents. Bach alleges that most of the respondents joined together in a concerted action to remove him from Teton County, taking such actions as threatening him with physical harm, destroying his personal property, stealing his personal property,7 damaging and trespassing

229 P.3d 1151
on his real property, misappropriating funds through the formation of corporate entities, misappropriating his real property by issuing fraudulent deeds, abusing legal process as a means of harassment, and harassing him on the basis of his Montenegrin heritage. The bulk of these claims were dismissed on summary judgment or motions to dismiss by the non-defaulted respondents, either for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted, lack of evidence, or on issue and claim preclusion grounds

Trial was held in this matter on Bach's claims against Miller and Broughton and Miller's counterclaims against Bach, resulting in a verdict in Miller and Broughton's favor on all claims asserted by Bach. The court entered a directed verdict for Miller on her breach of fiduciary duty claim, and the jury found for Miller on all remaining counterclaims, with the exception of trespass, and awarded her $132,456.72 in damages. The district court also quieted title in Miller to the 87-acre parcel. Bach made multiple post-trial motions that were denied. After the first denial of post-trial motions and the entry of findings of fact, Bach sought to have Judge St. Clair disqualified for bias under I.R.C.P. 40(d)(2). Judge St. Clair denied this motion as well, making detailed findings demonstrating why recusal was not warranted. Despite these denials, Bach continued to argue the post-trial motions and disqualification issue through the remaining proceedings. Although a trial was held, the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
299 practice notes
  • State v. Dunlap, Docket No. 32773/37270
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • August 27, 2013
    ...to the costs of Dunlap's defense were made in the course of performance of his duties as a trial judge. In Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 229 P.3d 1146 (2010), we considered a claim of bias based upon earlier proceedings in the litigation. We took guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court's deci......
  • State v. Dunlap, Nos. 32773
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 29, 2013
    ...to the costs of Dunlap's defense were made in the course of performance of his duties as a trial judge. In Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 229 P.3d 1146 (2010), we considered a claim of bias based upon earlier proceedings in the litigation. We took guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court's deci......
  • Idaho Dep't of Envtl. Quality v. Gibson, Docket No. 46217
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 11, 2020
    ...supported in the record or in the briefing by legal authority. Therefore, we will not address them. Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 790, 229 P.3d 1146, 1152 (2010) ; see also I.A.R. 35(a)(6) ("The argument shall contain the contentions of the appellant with respect to the issues presented on......
  • Zeyen ex rel. Zeyen & v. Pocatello/Chubbuck Sch. Dist. No. 25, Docket No. 46193
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • October 23, 2019
    ...(2003) ). If discovery was bifurcated, Zeyen bears the responsibility to prove as much on appeal. Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 790, 229 P.3d 1146, 1152 (2010) ("This Court will not search the record on appeal for error.") (citing Suits v. Idaho Bd. of Prof’l Discipline, 138 Idaho 397, 400......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
300 cases
  • State v. Dunlap, Docket No. 32773/37270
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • August 27, 2013
    ...to the costs of Dunlap's defense were made in the course of performance of his duties as a trial judge. In Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 229 P.3d 1146 (2010), we considered a claim of bias based upon earlier proceedings in the litigation. We took guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court's deci......
  • State v. Dunlap, Nos. 32773
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • November 29, 2013
    ...to the costs of Dunlap's defense were made in the course of performance of his duties as a trial judge. In Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 229 P.3d 1146 (2010), we considered a claim of bias based upon earlier proceedings in the litigation. We took guidance from the U.S. Supreme Court's deci......
  • Idaho Dep't of Envtl. Quality v. Gibson, Docket No. 46217
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • March 11, 2020
    ...supported in the record or in the briefing by legal authority. Therefore, we will not address them. Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 790, 229 P.3d 1146, 1152 (2010) ; see also I.A.R. 35(a)(6) ("The argument shall contain the contentions of the appellant with respect to the issues presented on......
  • Zeyen ex rel. Zeyen & v. Pocatello/Chubbuck Sch. Dist. No. 25, Docket No. 46193
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Idaho
    • October 23, 2019
    ...(2003) ). If discovery was bifurcated, Zeyen bears the responsibility to prove as much on appeal. Bach v. Bagley, 148 Idaho 784, 790, 229 P.3d 1146, 1152 (2010) ("This Court will not search the record on appeal for error.") (citing Suits v. Idaho Bd. of Prof’l Discipline, 138 Idaho 397, 400......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT