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Schoorl v. Lankford

Supreme Court of Idaho

February 2, 2017

DONALD EDWARD SCHOORL and SONIA LINN SCHOORL as Trustees of the DONALD AND SONIA SCHOORL TRUST u/t/a March 2, 2015, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
TERRY O. LANKFORD, an individual; GUILD MORTGAGE COMPANY, a California corporation; MORTGAGE ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEMS, INC., a Delaware corporation; FIRST AMERICAN TITLE COMPANY, INC., a Florida Corporation, Defendants-Respondents.

         2017 Opinion No. 9

         Appeal from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the State of Idaho, in and for Canyon County. Hon. George A. Southworth, District Judge.

         The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

          Rebecca A. Rainey, Fisher Rainey Hudson, Boise, argued for appellants.

          Matthew C. Parks, Elam & Burke P.A., Boise, argued for respondent.

          EISMANN, Justice.

         This is an appeal out of Canyon County from a judgment dismissing an action for adverse possession on the ground that the statutory amendment to Idaho Code section 5-210, which increased the required period for adverse possession from five to twenty years, applied to the Plaintiffs, who did not have a cause of action at the time of the amendment. We affirm the judgment of the district court.

         I.

         Factual Background.

         On September 22, 2015, the Plaintiffs filed this action seeking to quiet title in a strip of land that was 34.56 feet wide and 314.70 feet long. They alleged that they had satisfied the requirements for acquiring title to the property by adverse possession, which are set forth in Idaho Code section 5-210. At the time that the Plaintiffs went into possession of the strip of property, the required time for occupying adversely possessed property was five years. On July 1, 2006, an amendment to Idaho Code section 5-210 increased the statutory time period for adverse possession to twenty years. Ch. 158, § 5, 2006 Idaho Sess. Laws 474, 475. When that amendment became effective, the Plaintiffs had possessed the strip of land for four years and eight months.

         Guild Mortgage Company held a promissory note that was secured by a deed of trust in the strip of land; Mortgage Electronic Systems, Inc., was the trustee on the deed of trust; and Terry O. Lankford was the owner of the strip of land. They will be collectively called Defendants. First American Title Company disclaimed any interest in the strip of land.

         The Defendants moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that the 2006 amendment to Idaho Code section 5-210 applied, so the Plaintiffs had not possessed the property for the required statutory period. The district court agreed, and entered a judgment dismissing the complaint. The Plaintiffs then timely appealed.

         II.

         Did the 2006 Amendment to Idaho Code Section 5-210 ...


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