Articles Posted in Real Estate & Property Law

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The Tribe filed suit alleging that the Corps violated the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the Clean Water Act (CWA), and the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) in issuing permit and exemption determinations to a real property owner. The permits and exemptions allowed the owner to construct a road by dredging and filling portions of Enemy Swim Lake. With one exception, the Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's dismissal of the Tribe's claims. The court held that the 2010 letter issued by the Corp did not constitute a final agency action for purposes of the permit and exemption determinations, and that the Tribe's recapture claim was a nonjusticiable enforcement action; the Tribe was not eligible for equitable tolling in this case; the Corps did not act arbitrarily and capriciously by determining that the owner's 2009 project qualified for a nationwide permit; and the court did not have appellate jurisdiction to address the lawfulness of the Corps's NHPA regulations. View "Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate of the Lake Traverse Reservation v. U.S. Corps of Engineers" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit reversed the district court's grant of summary judgment against Specialized Loan Servicing, in an action alleging violations of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Minnesota Mortgage Originator and Servicer Licensing Act. The court held that plaintiff failed to prove actual damages under RESPA and therefore he failed to establish an essential element of his federal claim. In this case, the bank records that plaintiff obtained for 2012 and 2013 were irrelevant to the dispute whether his loan payments were past due before June 2011. In the alternative, plaintiff did not produce evidence to support a finding of "pattern or practice" here, and there was no evidence that Specialized failed to investigate and respond reasonably to qualified written requests from other borrowers. Consequently, the court reversed as to the state law claim as well. The court remanded with directions to enter summary judgment for Specialized on the RESPA claim and for further proceedings on the claim under the Minnesota Act. View "Wirtz v. Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC" on Justia Law

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Present lessors sought a declaratory judgment against Unimin Corporation, the present lessee, that the lease at issue created a tenancy at will. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Unimin, ruling that the lease had created a determinable leasehold, not a tenancy at will, and so Unimin did not unjustly enrich itself by staying in possession. Under Arkansas law, the lease specified that the lessee may stay in possession until certain activities (mining silica in this case) ceased, and thus created a determinable estate. View "Roberts v. Unimin Corp." on Justia Law

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Present lessors sought a declaratory judgment against Unimin Corporation, the present lessee, that the lease at issue created a tenancy at will. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment to Unimin, ruling that the lease had created a determinable leasehold, not a tenancy at will, and so Unimin did not unjustly enrich itself by staying in possession. Under Arkansas law, the lease specified that the lessee may stay in possession until certain activities (mining silica in this case) ceased, and thus created a determinable estate. View "Roberts v. Unimin Corp." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on remand in favor of defendants in an action filed by mortgage loan borrowers alleging violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Specifically, borrowers alleged that the lender did not provide the required number of copies of the required notice and material disclosures, and thus borrowers could rescind their loan on a date just shy of the three-year anniversary of loan execution. The court held that the district court did not err in determining that the signed acknowledgement borrowers had executed created a rebuttable presumption that they received the required number of copies and that borrowers' evidence was insufficient to overcome that rebuttable presumption. View "Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment on remand in favor of defendants in an action filed by mortgage loan borrowers alleging violation of the Truth in Lending Act (TILA). Specifically, borrowers alleged that the lender did not provide the required number of copies of the required notice and material disclosures, and thus borrowers could rescind their loan on a date just shy of the three-year anniversary of loan execution. The court held that the district court did not err in determining that the signed acknowledgement borrowers had executed created a rebuttable presumption that they received the required number of copies and that borrowers' evidence was insufficient to overcome that rebuttable presumption. View "Jesinoski v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's order striking LNG's verified claim in a civil forfeiture proceeding. The court held that LNG's verified claim was materially indistinguishable from the claim a panel of the court found inadequate in United States v. $154,853.00 in U.S. Currency, 744 F.3d 559 (8th Cir. 2014). In this case, LNG's verified claim failed to meet the threshold pleading requirement set forth in Rule G(5) of the Supplemental Rules for Admiralty or Maritime Claims and Asset Forfeiture Actions. View "United States v. LNG Express, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment for CIC on the Trust's claims for breach of contract, vexatious refusal, and declaratory judgment. The court held that the district court properly afforded the appraisal provision its plain meaning in determining it was unambiguous, enforceable, and did not abridge the Trust's rights under Missouri's vexatious refusal statute; the district court properly concluded CIC did not waive the appraisal provision; the Trust's contention that there was no basis for the district court to order appraisal of all covered damages, including replacement cost, was unfounded; the district court committed no error in finding the Trust's breach of contract claim failed as a matter of law; and the district court properly granted CIC summary judgment on the Trust's vexatious refusal claim. View "Olga Despotis Trust v. Cincinnati Insurance Co." on Justia Law

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After the City revoked his rental licenses, plaintiff filed suit alleging that the City violated 42 U.S.C. 1983 by subjecting plaintiff to the deprivation of his rights, privileges, or immunities under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of the City's motion for summary judgment on the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment claims. The court held that plaintiff had not demonstrated, as a matter of law, that the City violated his substantive-due-process rights under the Fourteenth Amendment. The court also held that the City's conduct was not arbitrary, oppressive, and shocking to the conscience, and there was no genuine dispute of material fact regarding whether the City violated plaintiff's Fourth Amendment rights. In this case, plaintiff did not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the common spaces entered by the City's police officers, and any argument that the police officers may have physically intruded on constitutionally protected areas by trespassing in his buildings to search for incriminating evidence was waived. View "Azam v. City of Columbia Heights" on Justia Law

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Plaintiffs filed suit against several financial entities for foreclosing on a mortgage loan. The district court granted summary judgment for defendants. At issue were plaintiffs' claims under the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act (MMPA), Mo. Rev. Stat. 407.020. The court affirmed and held that the foreclosure was justified because defendants had a right to foreclose on the house and thus the MMPA claim failed as a matter of law because the loss was not caused by any misconduct on behalf of defendants. Likewise, plaintiffs' tortious interference claim failed because the foreclosure was legal. View "Wheatley v. JP Morgan Chase Bank" on Justia Law