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Intermountain Real Properties, LLC v. Draw, LLC

Supreme Court of Idaho, Pocatello

October 16, 2013

INTERMOUNTAIN REAL PROPERTIES, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, as assignee of TMC Contractors, Inc., Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
DRAW, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Defendant-Respondent, and Kevin Taggart, an individual, Camden Court, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Timberline Properties, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Aaron Dean Eddington, an individual, Citizens Community Bank, and All Other Persons Unknown Claiming Interest in the Subject Property, Defendants.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Manwaring Law Office, Idaho Falls, for appellants. Kipp L. Manwaring argued.

Thomsen Stephens Law Offices, Idaho Falls, for respondent. Richard R. Friess argued.

BURDICK, Chief Justice.

Appellant, Intermountain Real Properties, LLC (Intermountain), appeals the Bingham County district court's grant of summary judgment to Respondent, Draw, LLC (Draw). Intermountain initially brought a cause of action, as an assignee of a materialmen's lien, against Draw and other defendants to recover payment on work paving a private drive in the Taylorview Development. The district court granted summary judgment to Draw on the grounds that Intermountain failed to raise a material issue of fact as to Draw's liability on the paving contract. Specifically, the district court found that Intermountain's lien as it applies to Draw's property is void, and that Draw should have quiet title to its property. The district court also awarded Draw attorney fees under I.C. § 12-120(3). We affirm the district court.

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I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In April 2008, Kevin Taggart contracted TMC Contractors, Inc. (TMC) to pave a private drive and parking spaces at the Taylorview Development in Shelley, Idaho. Taggart is one of the owners of Timberline Properties, LLC (Timberline), which developed the Taylorview Development with Shawn Allen, one of the members of Taylorview Apartments, LLC. The Taylorview Development was previously divided into separate lots for the purpose of constructing multi-family dwellings. In December 2007, Draw purchased property from Timberline. This property was and remains undeveloped real property. Draw's purchase also included an easement over property contiguous to the undeveloped property. Draw did not own this contiguous property. Draw's easement is over the same road that TMC paved and connects Draw's undeveloped property to a city street. Draw is owned solely by Sondra and Kevin Ward.

Pursuant to its agreement with Taggart, TMC completed the paving in October 2008. TMC billed Taggart and Allen for the work, but Taggart failed to pay the amount owed. TMC subsequently recorded a materialman's lien against all of the property in the subdivision, including Draw's previously purchased parcel.

On July 23, 2009, TMC filed its Complaint for Collection and Petition to Foreclose Materialman's Lien against Allen, Taggart, Draw, and others. The following day, TMC assigned the lien to Intermountain in an assignment agreement. An amended complaint was filed on August 7, 2009, and substituted Intermountain for TMC. The amended complaint contained four causes of action: (1) breach of contract; (2) open account; (3) unjust enrichment; and (4) lien foreclosure. The amended complaint also asked for attorney fees under I.C. §§ 12-120(3), 12-121, and 45-513. Draw filed an answer on September 8, 2009.

Draw filed a motion for summary judgment on all claims and an accompanying memorandum on March 6, 2012. The district court heard argument on the motion on April 30, 2012, and granted the motion in a May 25, 2012 order. In the order, the district court concluded that nothing in the record supported the theory that Taggart acted as an agent for Draw and that such a relationship would be necessary for Draw to be liable under the lien.

On June 19, 2012, Intermountain filed a motion for reconsideration that was supported with an affidavit by Robert Butler, who surveyed the Taylorview Development. Butler's affidavit stated that Draw's property is contained entirely within the Taylorview Development. The district court heard argument on this and other motions on July 9, 2012, and issued an order denying the motion on August 23, 2012. The order also awarded Draw attorney fees pursuant to I.C. § 12-120(3). A judgment was issued pursuant to the order on August 30, 2012. Intermountain timely filed a notice of appeal to this Court.

II. ISSUES ON APPEAL

1. Whether the district court erred in granting summary judgment to Draw.
2. Whether the district court erred in awarding Draw attorney fees under I.C. § 12-120(3).
3. Whether either party is entitled to attorney fees on appeal.

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

When reviewing an order for summary judgment, the standard of review for this Court is the same standard as that used by the district court in ruling on the motion. Summary judgment is appropriate if " the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." I.R.C.P. 56(c). Disputed facts should be construed in favor of the non-moving party, and all reasonable inferences that can be drawn from the record are to be drawn in favor of the non-moving party.
Fuller v. Callister, 150 Idaho 848 252 P.3d ...

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