U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell, Nos. SD 32844

CourtMissouri Court of Appeals
Writing for the CourtDON E. BURRELL, J.—OPINION AUTHOR
Citation483 S.W.3d 390
Parties U.S. Bank, N.A., f/k/a Bank of America, N.A., and Arvest Bank, Plaintiffs/Lienholders–Respondents, v. Douglas L. Coverdell, and Coverdell Enterprises, Inc., Defendants–Appellants, and Community Bank of the Ozarks, Inc., Defendant, and HCW Development Company, LLC, HCW Private Development, LLC, and HCW North, LLC, Defendants–Respondents, and City of Branson, Missouri, and The Empire District Electric Company, Intervenors–Respondents.
Decision Date30 October 2015
Docket NumberSD 32845,SD 32934,SD 32935 (consolidated),Nos. SD 32844

483 S.W.3d 390

U.S. Bank, N.A., f/k/a Bank of America, N.A., and Arvest Bank, Plaintiffs/Lienholders–Respondents,
v.
Douglas L. Coverdell, and Coverdell Enterprises, Inc., Defendants–Appellants,
and
Community Bank of the Ozarks, Inc., Defendant,
and
HCW Development Company, LLC, HCW Private Development, LLC, and HCW North, LLC, Defendants–Respondents,
and
City of Branson, Missouri, and The Empire District Electric Company, Intervenors–Respondents.

Nos. SD 32844
SD 32845
SD 32934
SD 32935 (consolidated)

Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, Division Two .

Filed: Oct. 30, 2015


Robert W. Cockerham, St. Louis, MO, and Edward D. Robertson Jr., Jefferson, City, MO, for Appellant Douglas Coverdell.

Charles S. Genisio, Joplin, MO, for Appellant Coverdell, Enterprises, Inc.

Sarah Elizabeth Holdener, St. Louis, MO, for Respondents U.S. Bank and City of Branson.

William L. Sauerwein, Clayton, MO, for Respondent U.S. Bank.

Lynn C. Rodgers, Springfield, MO, for Respondent Arvest Bank.

Daniel J. Welsh, St. Louis, MO, for Respondents HCW Development, HCW Private, and HCW North.

John C. Holstein, and James E. Meadows, Springfield, MO, for Respondent City of Branson.

Joshua B. Christensen, Springfield, MO, for Respondent Empire District.

DON E. BURRELL, J.—OPINION AUTHOR

This consolidated opinion addresses four separate appeals stemming from summary judgments granted in a lawsuit filed in 2011 to quiet title to real estate located in the Branson Landing subdivision ("the 2011 case").1 The appeals are brought by

483 S.W.3d 392

Defendants Douglas L. Coverdell ("Coverdell") and Coverdell Enterprises, Inc. ("CEI") (collectively, "Appellants"), and these appeals are related to two other appeals brought by Appellants arising out of another lawsuit filed in 2003 ("the 2003 case"). That case also involved land located in the Branson Landing subdivision, and our opinion deciding those consolidated appeals is being issued this same date. See Empire District Electric Company v. Coverdell, ––– S.W.3d ––––, Nos. SD32806 and SD32807 slip op., 2015 WL 7251923 (Mo.App.S.D. Oct. 30, 2015)("Empire II ").2 We hold in Empire II that the trial court committed prejudicial error when it dismissed with prejudice Coverdell's adverse possession claim in the 2003 case. As a result, that opinion reverses three summary judgments and remands the case for further proceedings consistent with the opinion. Id. at ––––, slip op. at 4.

We also reverse three summary judgments entered in this case, but we do so for a different reason. The reason the summary judgments entered in the instant case must be reversed is that this case should not have proceeded while the 2003 case remained unresolved. We therefore remand the matter with a direction that the trial court stay these proceedings pending a final resolution of the 2003 case.

Overview of Claims and Challenged Judgments

Plaintiffs Arvest Bank ("Arvest") and U.S. Bank (collectively, "Lienholders"); Defendants HCW Development Company, LLC ("HCW Development"), HCW Private Development, LLC ("HCW Private"), and HCW North, LLC ("HCW North" and these defendants, collectively, "HCW Entities"); and two intervenors, the City of Branson ("Branson") and the Empire District Electric Company ("Empire"), have all filed briefs and will be referred to collectively as "Respondents."3

483 S.W.3d 393

Lienholders filed this case after the 2010 judgment was entered in the 2003 case and while the appeal of that judgment was pending before this court. See Empire I, 344 S.W.3d at 844. After multiple amendments had been made to the petition in the instant case, U.S. Bank ultimately sought to quiet title, based upon deeds or, alternatively, adverse possession, in Branson as to Lots 1 and 4 and in Empire as to Lots 3 and 6.4 U.S. Bank also sought declarations, inter alia, that: (1) the lease by Branson as to Lot 6 and the sublease by HCW Private as to land we will refer to as "Retail Tract" were valid;5 (2) U.S. Bank possessed "a valid leasehold deed of trust" with "a first lien position" encumbering Retail Tract; and (3) Appellants had no rights to "any part of Lots 1, 3, 4 or 6[.]"6 U.S. Bank alleged that its deed of trust ("U.S. Bank deed of trust") encumbering Retail Tract was used to secure a $90,000,000 indebtedness.

Arvest's claim, based upon a chain of deeds, sought to have title quieted in Branson as to Lot 1 and in Empire as to Lot 6. It also sought declarations, inter alia, that: (1) Branson had a valid lease of Lot 6; (2) HCW Private had a valid sublease as to Retail Tract, (3) HCW North had valid leases as to two tracts in Lot 1 that we will refer to as "Northwest Tracts"; (4) Arvest had a valid first lien as to Northwest Tracts; and (5) Appellants had no right to "any part of Lots 1 and 6[.]"7 Arvest asserted in its statement of uncontroverted facts that Arvest's deed of trust ("Arvest deed of trust") encumbering Northwest Tracts was executed to secure a debt "in the maximum amount of $3,956,250.00[.]"

Branson's cross-claim sought to quiet title in itself as to all of Lots 1 and 4, and in Empire as to all of Lots 2, 3, and 6 based upon deeds, or alternatively, adverse possession. Branson also sought a decree, inter alia, that Appellants "have no right, title or interest in and to or right of possession to any of the Branson Landing[.]" HCW Entities and Empire answered Lienholders' claims, but they made no additional, specific claims for relief.

Appellants asserted "CLAIMS AGAINST PLAINTIFF AND OTHER DEFENDANTS " as a part of their response to U.S. Bank's amended petition. These claims sought to quiet title in Appellants as to "Property A and Property B" based upon a chain of deeds, and, in the alternative, to quiet title to these same properties in Coverdell based upon adverse

483 S.W.3d 394

possession (the alternative claim will hereinafter be referred to as "Appellants' claim"). Appellants also sought a declaration, inter alia, that Empire, Branson, and Lienholders had no rights in Property A and Property B. We observe—without so holding—that Property A may overlap part of the peninsula and an area south of the peninsula in Branson Landing, and Property B appears to be a smaller portion of Property A, which Coverdell allegedly conveyed to CEI.8

The instant appeals challenge the following three judgments, which we will collectively refer to as "the summary judgments": (1) a June 2013 judgment ("U.S. Bank's judgment") certifies as final a September 2012 summary judgment entered in favor of U.S. Bank ("U.S. Bank's interlocutory judgment") declaring, inter alia, that: (a) title is quieted in Branson as to the parts of Lots 1 and 4, and in Empire as to the parts of Lots 3 and 6, each of which are described in Retail Tract; (b) HCW Private has a valid lease in Retail Tract; (c) U.S. Bank deed of trust is valid and is the first lien; and (d) Appellants have no "right, title or interest, in and to, or right of possession of" Retail Tract9 ; (2) an August 2, 2013 summary judgment on Branson's motion ("Branson's judgment") that, inter alia : (a) quieted title in favor of Branson as to specific portions of Lot 1 described as "The Western Peninsula" ("Western Peninsula") and "Park Addition[,]" and in favor of Empire as to specific portions of Lots 2 and 6 described as the "Branson Town Company Tract" ("Branson Town"); (b) denied any right of Appellants in Lots 1, 2, and 6, or of "Western Peninsula, Park Addition, [Branson Town and] Eastern Peninsula [sic]"; (c) dismissed with prejudice Appellants' "Amended Claim" for "fail[ure] to state a claim upon which relief can be granted"; and (d) denied dismissal of the 2011 case.10 ; and (3) an August 5, 2013 summary judgment in favor of Arvest ("Arvest's judgment") that, inter alia, (a) quieted title in favor of Branson as to Northwest Tracts, and denied any right by Appellants to these parts of Lot 1; and (b) dissolved pertinent notices of lis pendens.

Background Regarding the Claims and Judgments Entered in the 2003 Case After the Remand Ordered in Empire I

Lienholders successfully intervened in the 2003 case after our remand in Empire I, claiming that they held separate deeds of trust that secured financing for lessees—$90,000,000 as to U.S. Bank's interest, and $3,956,250 as to Arvest's interest. Empire II at ––––, slip op. at 3. U.S. Bank's cross-claim sought to quiet title in Branson as "to all of Lots 1 and 4" and in Empire as "to all of Lots 3 and 6[.]" Id. at ––––, slip op. at 10. It further sought a declaration that Appellants had no right or interest as to "Lots 1, 3, 4 or 6[.]" Id. Arvest's cross-claim against Appellants sought to quiet title in Branson as "to all

483 S.W.3d 395

of Lot 1" and in Empire as to "all of Lot 6[,]" id. at ––––, slip op. at 9, as well as a declaration that Appellants had no interest in this land. Id. Branson claimed "that Empire owned Lots 2, 3, and 6; that Branson owned Lots 1 and 4; and Branson leased the lots owned by Empire." Id. at 3. Empire claimed ownership of what we refer to as "Eastern Peninsula" and "Branson Town[.]" Id. at –––– – ––––, slip op. at 2–3. Appellants' answers and separate cross-claims sought decrees...

To continue reading

Request your trial
12 practice notes
  • Empire Dist. Elec. Co. v. Coverdell, Nos. SD 32806
    • United States
    • Missouri Court of Appeals
    • 30 Octubre 2015
    ...Arvest Bank.DON E. BURRELL, J.This opinion and our related opinion issued this same date in 484 S.W.3d 4U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell, 483 S.W.3d 390 (Mo.App.S.D.2015),address appeals by defendants Douglas L. Coverdell ("Coverdell") and Coverdell Enterprises, Inc. ("CEI"; collectively "Appel......
  • Empire Dist. Elec. Co. v. Coverdell, No. SD 35226
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 5 Diciembre 2019
    ...U.S. Bank and Arvest Bank to quiet title to certain tracts of land included in the 2010 judgment. See U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell , 483 S.W.3d 390 (Mo. App. 2015). After the lienholders obtained judgments as to certain lots, Coverdell appealed. Id . at 394. This Court reversed and remanded......
  • Bradley v. State, WD 80406
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 9 Mayo 2018
    ...of a motion to dismiss, as part of the appeal from a final judgment[,] is ... for abuse of discretion." U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell , 483 S.W.3d 390, 401 (Mo. App. S.D. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).6 In Bradley’s first appeal, he argued "that the probate court should have dismissed t......
  • Jeschke AG Serv. v. Bell, WD84474
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 28 Junio 2022
    ...are presented, resolution should occur through the prior action and the second suit should be dismissed." U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell, 483 S.W.3d 390, 401 (Mo. App. S.D. 2015) (quoting HTH Cos., Inc. v. Mo. Dep't of Labor & Indus. Relations, 154 S.W.3d 358, 361 (Mo. App. E.D 2004)). 7 The ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
11 cases
  • Empire Dist. Elec. Co. v. Coverdell, No. SD 35226
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 5 Diciembre 2019
    ...U.S. Bank and Arvest Bank to quiet title to certain tracts of land included in the 2010 judgment. See U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell , 483 S.W.3d 390 (Mo. App. 2015). After the lienholders obtained judgments as to certain lots, Coverdell appealed. Id . at 394. This Court reversed and remanded......
  • Bradley v. State, WD 80406
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 9 Mayo 2018
    ...of a motion to dismiss, as part of the appeal from a final judgment[,] is ... for abuse of discretion." U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell , 483 S.W.3d 390, 401 (Mo. App. S.D. 2015) (internal quotation omitted).6 In Bradley’s first appeal, he argued "that the probate court should have dismissed t......
  • Harris v. Edgar, No. SD 35905
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 19 Julio 2019
    ...court properly treated the Motion to Dismiss as stating conditions invoking the doctrine of abatement. See U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell , 483 S.W.3d 390, 403 (Mo. App. S.D. 2015) (internal citation omitted) (construing two "dismissal motions" as motions for abatement and noting that it was ......
  • Lunsford v. Deatherage, No. SD 34525
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Missouri (US)
    • 10 Mayo 2017
    ...of proceedings, and we will not disturb the trial court's ruling absent an abuse of that discretion. See U.S. Bank, N.A. v. Coverdell , 483 S.W.3d 390, 401 (Mo. App. S.D. 2015).Point 1 is granted. The case is remanded to the trial court, which is directed to: (1) enter an order consistent w......
  • 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