Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Riverbend Land, LLC v. State ex rel. Oklahoma Turnpike Authority

Court of Appeals of Oklahoma, Division IV

August 10, 2018

RIVERBEND LAND, LLC, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
STATE OF OKLAHOMA, ex rel. OKLAHOMA TURNPIKE AUTHORITY, Defendant/Appellee.

          Mandate Issued: 06/19/2019

          APPEAL FROM THE DISTRICT COURT OF OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA HONORABLE PATRICIA G. PARRISH, TRIAL JUDGE.

          Kraettli Q. Epperson, Maris A. Skinner, MEE MEE HOGE & EPPERSON PLLP, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Plaintiff/Appellant

          Phillip G. Whaley, Grant M. Lucky, RYAN WHALEY COLDIRON JANTZEN PETERS & WEBBER PLLC, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, for Defendant/Appellee

          DEBORAH B. BARNES, PRESIDING JUDGE.

         ¶1 In this quiet title action, Riverbend Land, LLC (Riverbend) appeals from an order of the district court granting summary judgment to State of Oklahoma, ex rel. Oklahoma Turnpike Authority (OTA). Based on our review of the summary judgment record and the applicable law, we reverse and remand for further proceedings.

         BACKGROUND

         ¶2 Mamosa Properties, L.L.C. and Shana, L.L.C. (collectively, Mamosa) acquired title to certain tracts of land by warranty deed on December 30, 1997, from Property Enterprises Corporation. This property was subsequently conveyed to Expert SWC Rockwell Memorial, LLC (Expert) in 2007. [1] On November 6, 2009, by special warranty deed and corrected warranty deed, Riverbend acquired certain real property from Expert that had been conveyed to Expert by Mamosa. Two tracts of land were conveyed to Riverbend, but only one tract, consisting of approximately 7.34 acres, is the subject of Riverbend's quiet title action. [2]

         ¶3 Prior to Expert's and Riverbend's acquisition of the subject property, in November 1998, Mamosa conveyed to OTA by general warranty deed the following described property "together with abutter's rights, if any, to wit:"

A tract of land in the NE¼ of Section 17, T-13-N, R-4-W, I.M., Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, being more particularly described as;
Beginning in the NE Corner of said NE¼ (NE Corner being a PK Nail w/Tag); Thence S 00°19'07" E on the East Line of said NE¼, a distance of 886.72 feet to a point; Thence S 89°40'53" W, a distance of 33.00 feet to a point; Thence N 03°30'05" W, a distance of 725.53 feet to a point; Thence N 86°07'52" W, a distance of 2000.02 feet to a point; Thence N 00°08'41" E, a distance of 33.00 feet to a point; Thence S 89°51'19" E, a distance of 2067.76 feet to the Point or Place of Beginning.
Containing 245, 748.76 square feet or 5.64 acres more or less, of new right-of-way, the area included in the above description being right-of-way occupied by the present turnpike, together with all abutters rights, including access from the remaining portion of the grantors land onto the LIMITED ACCESS TURNPIKE to be constructed on the above described property, except that the grantors, their heirs, successors or assigns, shall have the right of access to the Section Line Road, along the East side of the above described property, beginning at a point on the East Line of the NE¼ a distance of 486.70 feet South of the NE Corner of said NE¼ and extending South, also except that the grantors, their heirs, successors or assigns, shall have the right of access from the West 1673.95 feet of the NE¼ onto the frontage road to be constructed between said property and the LIMITED ACCESS TURNPIKE, also except that the grantors, their heirs, successors or assigns, shall not have the right of access onto a frontage road to be constructed between said property and the LIMITED ACCESS TURNPIKE beginning at the NE Corner of said NE¼ and extending West 1071.09 feet on the North Line of said NE¼ and beginning at the NE Corner of said NE¼ and extending South 412.22 feet on the East Line of said NE¼[.] [3]

         ¶4 Riverbend initiated the present action because OTA claims the abutters rights to portions of the 7.34 acre tract through the 1998 OTA/Mamosa Deed. In 2016 Riverbend attempted to sell the subject land to a third party, but that sale did not occur because of OTA's claim. It is undisputed that the title insurance companies used by Expert, Riverbend, and the prospective purchaser did not disclose OTA's claim to the abutters rights. Riverbend filed a motion for summary judgment in which, among other arguments, it claims it is a bona fide purchaser for value and had no notice (actual or constructive (of the OTA/Mamosa Deed.

         ¶5 Riverbend argues nothing in the deeds or in its chain of title states the grantors' "Express Reservation of the Riverbend Lands Abutters Rights." [4] It argues, neither Mamosa nor Expert "reserved" the abutters rights in the Mamosa/Expert Deed or the Expert/Riverbend Deed. Riverbend argues the abutters rights are a part of the fee simple title it acquired through the Property/Mamosa Deed, Mamosa/Expert Deed (and correction deed) and Expert/Riverbend Deed (and correction deed), and "such... Riverbend Lands Abutters Rights were neither expressly reserved by Riverbend's predecessors in title (i.e., Property, [Mamosa], and Expert), nor conveyed of record to the OTA." Consequently, it argues, Riverbend acquired the entire fee simple interest in the subject property including the abutters rights. [5] Riverbend further contends that unless OTA can "show a conveyance to it including the specific legal description... describing (the remaining portion of the grantors land)... that would have covered the related Riverbend Lands Abutters Rights... such rights were not conveyed to OTA."

         ¶6 Further, Riverbend argues, it cannot be held to have had constructive notice of the OTA/Mamosa Deed because neither the legal description for the entirety of Mamosa's "remaining portion" of land nor the legal description for Riverbend's 7.34 acre tract was specifically described in the OTA/Mamosa Deed. It argues 16 O.S. 2011 § 16 [6] and 19 O.S. 2011 § 298 [7] require a specific legal description to impose constructive knowledge on a subsequent bona fide purchaser for value. Further, 16 O.S. § 15 provides in pertinent part: "no deed... or other instrument relating to real estate... shall be valid as against third persons unless acknowledged and recorded as herein provided." (Emphasis added.)

         ¶7 Riverbend argues that what was conveyed by the OTA/Mamosa Deed was the 5.64 acre tract of land described by a specific legal description in what it labels as "Tract 1" and set forth in the first paragraph of that deed. [8] Riverbend asserts that in the second paragraph of that deed there is some further description of Tract 1 in the first clause of the first sentence, but further argues that the rest of that sentence references what it labels as "Tract 2" through the following language:

together with all abutters rights, including access from the remaining portion of the grantors land onto the LIMITED ACCESS TURNPIKE to be constructed on the above described property[.] [9]

         ¶8 It is Tract 2, Riverbend argues, that has no legal description of "the remaining portion of the grantors land" but is alleged by OTA to be the real property from which some of the "bundle of rights" of that real property -- that is, the abutters rights -- have been conveyed to OTA in the OTA/Mamosa Deed.

         ¶9 Riverbend does not deny that it and Expert have some "common owner." "[B]ut," it argues, "such fact is irrelevant and immaterial to the issue in front of this court: Did the indefinite phrase[] 'remaining portion of the grantors land' give a third party notice of a specific claim of real property interest? The vague description would be impossible to locate and is invalid." It further argues, "What is at issue is the adequacy of the [OTA/Mamosa Deed's] language concerning the land whose abutter's rights are at issue" -- "vague legal descriptions are inadequate to give constructive notice to third parties."

         ¶10 Thus, Riverbend argues it did not have constructive notice even though the OTA/Mamosa Deed was filed of record and predates the Expert/Riverbend Deed. "[T]he existence and the recording of [the OTA/Mamosa Deed] is irrelevant and immaterial," it argues, because the OTA/Mamosa Deed "fails to adequately describe the lands being stripped of such abutter's rights." "Again, the only question in front of this court... is whether the 'remaining portion of the grantors land' phrase is specific enough to constitute constructive notice."

         ¶11 In its response in opposition to Riverbend's motion, OTA argues, among other things, that Riverbend had constructive notice presumed in law pursuant to 16 O.S. 2011 § 16. [10] OTA argues the OTA/Mamosa Deed was accepted for recording by the county clerk and was filed of record for more than ten years prior to the Expert/Riverbend Deed. It asserts that deed describes both "the 5.64 acres of real property purchased by OTA" and "describes that OTA, together with real property purchased, also acquired the grantor's abutters rights, including access from the 'remaining portion of the grantor's land' onto the limited access turnpike[.]" OTA argues that deed also contained exceptions such that "grantors were given access at specifically described areas along Rockwell and what is now Memorial Road[.]" The OTA/Mamosa Deed also excluded from OTA limits of no access certain "remaining portions of the grantors land," including along the east side of the right of way conveyed to OTA "beginning at a point on the East Line of the NE¼ a distance of 486.70 feet South of the NE Corner of said NE¼ and extending South" -- land that encompasses part of the subject property later conveyed to Riverbend. Thus, OTA argues it is "absurd to suggest that you can't figure out where the property that is going to be blocked access here from [the OTA/Mamosa Deed]." OTA, therefore, contends Riverbend is presumed in law to have constructive knowledge of the OTA/Mamosa Deed and its provisions pursuant to 16 O.S. 2011 § 16.

         ¶12 Additionally, OTA argues Riverbend had record notice of the OTA/Mamosa Deed because that deed is in the chain of title of Riverbend's 7.34 acre tract. It asserts "Riverbend erroneously here seeks to limit chain of title to only those conveyances made to the successive holders of record title, while ignoring conveyances by the holders to persons other than successors." OTA argues that while "a purchaser of real estate is not bound to take notice of registered liens or deeds created or executed by any person other than those through whom he is compelled to deraign his title," [11] a "purchaser (like Riverbend) is charged with notice of all deeds created or executed by the successive holders of record title through which the purchaser acquires his/her interest (like Mamosa)." Having such record notice, OTA contends, ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.