VAL D. WESTOVER and LAREE H. WESTOVER, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
JASE D. CUNDICK, in his individual capacity and in his official capacity as Franklin County Assessor, and JOHN DOES 1 and 2, Defendants-Respondents.
Opinion No. 33
from the District Court of the Sixth Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Franklin County. Hon. Mitchell W. Brown,
judgment of the district court is affirmed.
Law Offices, P.C., Clifton, for appellants. Blake S. Atkin
& Hales, P.C., Boise, for respondents. Tyler D. Williams
LaRee Westover appeal from the district court's judgment
and denial of their request for writs of mandate and
prohibition against Franklin County Assessor Jase Cundick.
The dispute arose when the Westovers granted an easement to
Rocky Mountain Power on property owned by the Westovers.
Based on his office's records, Cundick sent a letter to
Rocky Mountain Power stating that the Westovers did not own
the property in question. The Westovers sought a writ of
mandate to require Cundick to retract the letter and a writ
of prohibition to prevent him from sending such letters in
the future. The district court denied the Westovers'
request for writs of mandate and prohibition after it
concluded that there were other remedies available at law.
appeal, the Westovers assert that the district court erred by
failing to grant injunctive relief prohibiting Cundick from
sending out letters concerning real estate transactions and
property ownership. Although the Westovers' complaint did
not request that the district court grant injunctive relief,
they assert that the district court erred because the
Westovers were clearly entitled to injunctive relief under
Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 54(c). We affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
November of 2007, the Westovers entered into a contract to
purchase the family farm (Property) from Val's parents
Don and Connie Westover. On November 27, 2007, the Westovers
recorded a Memorandum of Real Estate Contract with the
Franklin County Recorder's Office. The sales contract
itself was not recorded and the records in the recorder's
office continued to show that Don and Connie Westover were
the owners of the Property. On February 25, 2008, two
quitclaim deeds with respect to the same Property were
recorded between Don and Connie Westover and Dexter and Linda
Ralphs to adjust the acreage of their respective properties.
The quitclaim deeds indicated that Don and Connie Westover
remained the owners of the Property.
December 3, 2012, a warranty deed conveying the Property from
Don Westover to the Don A. Westover Trust was recorded. Based
on that warranty deed, the assessor's office updated its
records to show the Don A. Westover Trust as the owner of the
Property. On March 17, 2015, the Westovers conveyed an
underground right of way easement on the Property to Rocky
Mountain Power as part of a contract to receive power for
their business. The easement was recorded on April 20, 2015.
The Westovers then paid $37, 000 to install lines and
equipment to receive electrical service.
14, 2015, a warranty deed dated November 17, 2007, conveying
the Property from Don and Connie Westover to the Westovers
was recorded. On May 29, 2015, Cundick sent a letter to the
Westovers and Rocky Mountain Power informing them of his
concern that "the property description included in [the
April 20, 2015 Underground Right of Way Easement] is not
owned by the Grantor . . . ." Cundick's office did
not obtain information regarding the May 14, 2015, recorded
deed until after he sent his letter.
Mountain Power contacted the Westovers about the letter and
informed them they would need to correct the problem within
thirty days or it would turn off the Westovers' power and
remove its equipment. After speaking with the Westovers,
Rocky Mountain Power agreed not to take any action until the
Westovers had addressed the problem. The Westovers contacted
the assessor's office requesting that it retract the May
29 letter. Despite communication between the parties and
eventual communication through the parties' attorneys,
the dispute was not resolved. On June 8, 2015, a quitclaim
deed conveying the Property from the Don A. Westover Family
Trust to the Westovers was recorded. At that time, the
assessor's office changed its records to reflect the
Westovers as the owners of the Property
30, 2015, the Westovers filed their complaint against
Cundick. The Westovers amended their complaint August 20,
2015, suing Cundick in his individual and official capacities
and seeking writs of mandate and prohibition, damages for
slander of ...