Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Summary 2013 WY 64

Summary of Decision May 22, 2013

Justice Voigt delivered the opinion for the Court. Affirmed.

Case Name: ERICK W. ESTERHOLDT as Trustee of the Erick W. Esterholdt Revocable Trust dated August 6, 2009, and JEANNE M. ESTERHOLDT as Trustee of the Jeanne M. Esterholdt Revocable Trust dated August 6, 2009 v. PACIFICORP, an Oregon corporation and JASON THORNOCK

Docket Number: S-12-0164

URL: http://www.courts.state.wy.us/Opinions.aspx

Appeal from the District Court of Lincoln County, the Honorable Dennis L. Sanderson, Judge

Representing Appellants: Sharon M. Rose of The Rose Law Firm, P.C., Evanston, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee PacifiCorp: David G. Ditto of Associated Legal Group, LLC, Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Representing Appellee Jason Thornock: David M. Clark of Worrall & Greear, P.C., Worland, Wyoming.

Date of Decision: May 22, 2013

Facts: Via a partial summary judgment, the district court held that the Wyoming Marketable Title Act (the Act), Wyo. Stat. Ann. §§ 34-10-101 et seq. (LexisNexis 2011), validated PacifiCorp’s pole line and utility easement across the Esterholdts’ property. The Esterholdts had filed an action seeking to have the easement declared invalid because it emanated from a “wild deed.”[1] Thornock intervened as a potential user of PacifiCorp’s power line. Several issues were determined by the district court, but the only issues before this Court in this appeal are based upon the Act.

Issues: Can a “wild deed” be the “root of title” under the Act? Is a “wild deed” an inherent defect in the chain of title?

Holdings: A wild deed, as defined herein, may constitute the “root of title” under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 34-10-101(a)(v), and a wild deed serving as a root of title that does not bear a defect “on its face” is not an “inherent defect” in the chain of record title under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 34-10-104(a)(i). We affirm the district court.

Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court

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