Summary of Decision January 15, 2014
Justice Davis delivered the opinion for the Court. Revsered in part. Remanded in part. Affirmed in part.
Case Name: ALAN G. MOATS and CHLEO I. MOATS v. PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE, LLC, d/b/a SUMMIT TITLE SERVICES, KUZMA SUCCESS REALTY, and P. OLEN SNIDER, JR.,
Docket Number: S-13-0045
Appeal from the District Court of Laramie County the Honorable Thomas T.C. Campbell, Judge
Representing Appellant: J. Kent Rutledge and Shawnna M. Herron* of Lathrop & Rutledge, P.C., Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Rutledge.
Representing Appellees Professional Assistance, LLC, d/b/a Summit Title Services and P. Olen Snider, Jr.: Kate M. Fox† and Amanda F. Esch of Davis & Cannon, LLP, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Ms. Esch.
Representing Appellee Kuzma Success Realty: Lindsay A. Woznick and Khale J. Lenhart of Hirst Applegate, LLP, Cheyenne, Wyoming. Argument by Mr. Lenhart.
Date of Decision: January, 2014
Facts: Appellants Alan and Chleo Moats (Moats) sold 850 acres of farm ground, intending to retain the mineral rights for themselves. The deeds prepared by Appellee Professional Assistance, L.L.C., d/b/a Summit Title Services did not reserve the minerals, even after the Moats were made aware of the omission at closing, insisted that it be rectified, and were assured by a Summit employee that the deeds had in fact been corrected. Approximately six years passed before the error was discovered, and the Moats sued Summit, its general counsel Appellee P. Olen Snider, Jr., and Kuzma Success Realty, the brokerage firm involved in the transaction. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of all Appellees, finding that the Moats failed to exercise due diligence to discover the error so as to extend the statute of limitation as a matter of law.
Issues: Are there genuine issues of material fact as to whether the Moats exercised reasonable diligence to discover their claims against Appellees under Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-3-107(a)(i)(B), and if not, were Appellees entitled to judgment as a matter of law under Wyoming Rule of Civil Procedure 56?
Holdings/Conclusion: We find that there are genuine issues of material fact as to whether the Moats exercised due diligence to discover errors allegedly made by Appellee Summit (Professional Assistance L.L.C.), and we therefore reverse the district court’s summary judgment. We also find that Appellee P. Olen Snider, Jr., failed to present a prima facie case that he was entitled to summary judgment, and we also reverse the district court’s summary judgment as to him. We find that the district court correctly found that there were no genuine issues of material fact as to the claims against Kuzma Success Realty, and we therefore affirm summary judgment against it. We remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
* Order Allowing Withdrawal of Counsel Shawnna M. Herron filed on July 10, 2013
† Notice of Withdrawal of Kate M. Fox filed December 13, 2013
Summaries are prepared by Law Librarians and are not official statements of the Wyoming Supreme Court
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Thursday, January 16, 2014
Summary of Decision January 15, 2014