Baker v. KAL, LLC, 040518 IDSCCI, 44855

Docket Nº:44855
Opinion Judge:SCHROEDER, Justice pro tem.
Party Name:MARIAN B. BAKER, TRUSTEE OF THE MARIAN B. BAKER TRUST, dated May 12, 2013, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. KAL, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Defendant-Counterclaimant-Cross Claimant-Appellant, and JOHN STADLER and VICKIE STADLER, husband and wife, Defendants-Counterclaimants-Cross Claimants, and JOSE I. MELENDRERAS and JACQUELINE Z. MELEND...
Attorney:Robert E. Covington, III, Hayden, for appellant. Jones, Gledhill, Fuhrman & Gourley, P.A., Boise for respondent Marian B. Baker, Andrew E. Hawes argued. James, Vernon and Weeks, P.A., Coeur d'Alene for respondent Melendreas.
Judge Panel:Chief Justice BURDICK, Justices BRODY and BEVAN, and Justice pro tem GRATTON, CONCUR.
Case Date:April 05, 2018
Court:Supreme Court of Idaho
 
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MARIAN B. BAKER, TRUSTEE OF THE MARIAN B. BAKER TRUST, dated May 12, 2013, Plaintiff-Respondent,

v.

KAL, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Defendant-Counterclaimant-Cross Claimant-Appellant,

and

JOHN STADLER and VICKIE STADLER, husband and wife, Defendants-Counterclaimants-Cross Claimants,

and

JOSE I. MELENDRERAS and JACQUELINE Z. MELENDRERAS, husband and wife, Defendants-Cross Defendants-Respondents.

No. 44855

Supreme Court of Idaho

April 5, 2018

2018 Opinion No. 32

Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Lansing Haynes, District Judge. The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

Robert E. Covington, III, Hayden, for appellant.

Jones, Gledhill, Fuhrman & Gourley, P.A., Boise for respondent Marian B. Baker, Andrew E. Hawes argued.

James, Vernon and Weeks, P.A., Coeur d'Alene for respondent Melendreas.

SCHROEDER, Justice pro tem.

I. Nature of the Case

This is an easement dispute arising out of Kootenai County. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Marian B. Baker, Trustee of the Marian B. Baker Trust ("Baker"), for an easement over a logging road ("Alexanna Lane") that crosses the property of KAL, LLC ("KAL"). Initially there were claims involving John and Vickie Stadler (the "Stadlers"), and Jose Melendreras and Jacqueline Diaz-Melendreras (the "Melendrerases"). However, the present appeal involves only the claims between Baker and KAL.

II. Factual and Procedural Background

A. Factual Background

Timber-Land-AG, LLC ("Timberland") was the original owner of the parcels at issue, Tracts 7-10, which are adjacent to one another. Timberland conveyed Tracts 7 and 8 to the Melendrerases by a warranty deed in 1999. The 1999 deed had an attachment, Exhibit A, which contained easement language. Regarding Tract 7, which is also referred to as Parcel 1, the 1999 deed gave a legal description of the land, and provided: RESERVING THEREFROM that portion of the above described parcel which is described in an Ingress, Egress and Utilities Easement as more fully described in Exhibit "B" attached hereto and incorporated herein.

FURTHER RESERVING THEREFROM a strip of land fifteen (15) feet in width paralleling the south boundary line of said Parcel 1 which shall serve as an easement for electric utilities over land and underground and the maintenance of same.

Regarding Tract 8, also referred to as Parcel 2, the 1999 deed gave a legal description of the land, and provided: RESERVING THEREFROM a strip of land sixty (60) feet in width paralleling the north boundary line of Parcel 2 which shall serve as an easement for ingress, egress and utilities.

TOGETHER WITH a sixty foot easement of the purpose of ingress, egress and utilities along the north boundary line of Tract 9, legally described in Exhibit "C" and west of the Ingress, Egress and Utilities Easement described in Exhibit "B."

Exhibit B describes an Ingress, Egress, and Utilities Easement consisting of a strip of land 60 feet in width that commences in the southeast corner of Tract 12, and ends at the northern border of Tract 9. This easement is also referred to as Alexanna Lane. Exhibit C provides a legal description of the land in Tract 9. At the time the 1999 deed was executed, Timberland retained ownership of Tracts 9 and 10.

David White, a member of KAL, purchased Tract 9 (the "KAL Property") in 2002. The Stadlers purchased Tract 10 (the "Stadler Property") in 2003. The Melendrerases conveyed Tract 8 to Baker (the "Baker Property") in 2014. The Melendrerases retained ownership of Tract 7 (the "Melendreras Property").

B. Procedural Background

In February of 2015 Baker filed a complaint to quiet title against KAL, the Stadlers and the Melendrerases to extinguish an easement on the Baker Property. The Stadlers answered Baker's complaint and asserted claims against Baker and the Melendrerases to quiet title and for common law trespass. The Stadlers noted that access to the Baker Property was intended to run through the Melendreras Property, not through the KAL Property or the Stadler Property.

Baker filed a motion for summary judgment with respect to Count I and Count II of the Stadlers' counterclaim, asserting that she was entitled to use Alexanna Lane to access her property because: (1) a statutory easement was created pursuant to Idaho...

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