Articles Posted in Real Estate & Property Law

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This appeal stemmed from a dispute over who was the rightful owner of a Martin D-35 guitar that Elvis Presley played during his final tour in 1977. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment in favor of the Museum, holding that the Museum was not bound by a prior Tennessee judgment between defendant and the guitar donor because the Museum was not a party to that action and was not in privity with the donor. In this case, the donor had already delivered the guitar to the Museum at the time defendant commenced the Tennessee action. Therefore, the donor had title to the Martin D-35 guitar when he transferred the guitar to the Museum and the Museum owned the guitar. View "National Music Museum v. Moss" on Justia Law

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Plaintiff filed suit against defendants after the Redevelopment Authority condemned his property under its power of eminent domain, seeking to enjoin the condemnation proceedings and to obtain relocation benefits under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act. The Eighth Circuit held that the Act did not create a private right of action against the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, and that plaintiff waived any challenge to the court's abstention decision. Therefore, the court affirmed the district court's decision to abstain from deciding plaintiff's claim against the Redevelopment Authority and dismissal of his claim against the Agency. View "Osher v. Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority of St. Louis" on Justia Law

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After defendant was convicted of bombing a doctor, the United States filed two civil forfeiture actions against weapons seized from defendant during the criminal investigation. On appeal, defendant challenged an order of forfeiture of an unregistered shotgun, and defendant and his wife challenged the forfeiture of 93 National Firearms Act regulated weapons. The Eighth Circuit declined to overturn either order based on defendant's allegations of fraud and improper limitations on discovery. The court held that the district court did not err in granting forfeiture of the shotgun where defendant's acquittal of illegal possession of the shotgun in his criminal trial did not bar the district court from rejecting his affirmative defense and ordering forfeiture of the shotgun in this civil proceeding. The court also held that the district court had jurisdiction to dispose of 93 weapons seized from defendant as he could not lawfully possess them as a convicted felon. Furthermore, the district court did not err in ordering the proceeds from the sale of the weapons to be given to the victim where defendant's wife could not rely on the law of Arkansas marital property to establish an ownership interest in the 93 weapons and the district court did not err in relying on the Arkansas civil judgment in granting defendant's interest in the proceeds to the victim. View "United States v. Mann" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the district court's judgment for Wells Fargo in a third lawsuit arising between the parties involving the foreclosure of plaintiff's property. Plaintiff alleged that the bank violated Minn. Stat. 582.043 when it continued with foreclosure proceedings after he had submitted an application for a loan modification, and Wells Fargo brought a counterclaim against him for breach of a prior settlement agreement. The court held that plaintiff's claim was barred by res judicata because he could have brought the claim during the 2013 foreclosure litigation and he had an opportunity to litigate the claim fairly and fully if he had timely raised it. The court also held that the district court did not err in granting judgment on the pleadings for Wells Fargo on the bank's counterclaim where plaintiff was not discharged from his obligation to perform under the settlement agreement. Finally, the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying leave to amend on futility grounds. View "Lansing v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A." on Justia 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