JOHN E. FUQUAY; CLINTON WARD FUQUAY; and HAILEY ROSE FUQUAY, Plaintiffs-Counterdefendants-Appellants,
SUSIE LOW and CAL LOW, Defendants-Respondents, and GILBERT KING, as Trustee of the HEART K RANCH TRUST UTA DECEMBER 28, 2012; THE ESTATE OF GORDON G. KING; and ROSE M. KING, as Beneficiary of the HEART K RANCH TRUST UTA DECEMBER 28, 2012, Defendants-Counterclaimants-Respondents, and AVCO FINANCIAL SERVICES OF IDAHO FALLS; and FIRST AMERICAN TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY, Defendants.
2017 Opinion No. 76
from the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the
State of Idaho, Owyhee County. Hon. Thomas J. Ryan, District
judgment of the district court is affirmed.
Fidelity National Law Group, Seattle, Washington, for
appellants. Matthew R. Cleverley argued.
Sawtooth Law Offices, Boise, for respondents Low. S. Bryce
P. Rainey, Caldwell, for respondents King.
Fuquay, Clinton Fuquay, and Hailey Fuquay (the Fuquays),
appeal the district court's grant of summary judgment to
Gilbert King, as Trustee of the Heart K Ranch Trust, the
Estate of Gordon King, Rose King (the Kings), Susie Low, and
Cal Low (the Lows), and the denial of the Fuquays' motion
for reconsideration in a property dispute concerning an
alleged prescriptive easement in favor of the Fuquays across
the Kings' and Lows' property. We affirm.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Lane is a private, all-weather road in Owyhee County about
one-half mile in length. It is lined by two barbed wire
fences and it runs in an east-west direction connecting with
Oreana Loop Road on the east end and Castle Lane on the west
end. Castle Lane then continues southward until it connects
with Oreana Loop Road. The Kings own the parcel of land to
the north of King Lane, and the Lows own the parcel of land
to the south of King Lane. The Lows purchased their property
in 2006 from Samuel Steiner. The Fuquays own the parcels of
land to the west of King Lane where it ends and connects with
Castle Lane. The degree to which King Lane crosses over
either the King property or the Low property is not known;
however, it is undisputed that King Lane crosses portions of
Kings purchased their property on September 17, 1973.
According to Rose King, at the time the Kings purchased the
property, "King Lane was only a path through grass and
weeds and was wet and muddy most of the year." According
to Samuel Steiner, the Lows' predecessor, "during
wet weather" King Lane was "pretty difficult to get
through." Starting in 1973, the Kings hauled rocks to
build a base for King Lane and over the years improved it to
the point where it could be used consistently for the
Kings' farming needs. In 1982, the Kings sold their
property to Zane Block, but repossessed the property in 1986.
According to Rose King, it was impossible to cross King Lane
in a large truck until 1988-89 when a welded barrel culvert
under King Lane was replaced by a concrete culvert.
various times throughout the year, the Kings graze cattle
over King Lane. Until 2014, the Kings had barbed wire gates
on both the east and west ends of King Lane to enclose their
livestock. Anyone attempting to use King Lane had to stop,
open, and then close the gates. In 2014, the Kings placed
large iron gates across each end of King Lane.
Fuquays purchased their property in 1977. Contrary to Rose
King's testimony, the Fuquays claim that they have
continuously used large semi-trucks, cattle trucks, farm
vehicles, and personal vehicles to cross King Lane since
1977. In 2014, John Fuquay divided the Fuquay property into
parcels for sale. At that time, the Fuquays discovered that
there was no recorded easement for the benefit of the Fuquay
property for access by way of King Lane. In the summer of
2014, a dispute also arose between the Kings and the Fuquays
regarding the iron gates that the Kings placed at each end of
August 11, 2014, the Fuquays filed a complaint against the
Kings and the Lows seeking a declaratory judgment for a
prescriptive easement across King Lane. On September 4, 2014,
the Fuquays filed a motion for a temporary restraining order
to enjoin the Kings from blocking their access to King Lane.
The district court granted the Fuquays' request for a
temporary restraining order and set a hearing for preliminary
injunction. Following that hearing, the district court denied
the Fuquays' request for temporary injunction.
Fuquays filed a motion for summary judgment against the Lows;
however, the Fuquays subsequently withdrew the motion. The
Kings then moved for summary judgment. On March 25, 2015, the
district court denied the Kings' motion for summary
judgment, finding that that there was a material issue of
fact as to when the Fuquays' claimed adverse use of King
Lane began. On March 30, 2015, the Fuquays filed an amended
April 7, 2015, the Kings filed a motion for reconsideration
under Idaho Rule of Civil Procedure 11(a)(2)(B) arguing that under Idaho's
joint-use-in-common rule, the Fuquays' use of King Lane
was presumptively permissive and that the Fuquays failed to
present any evidence of "adverse" use to rebut that
presumption. On June 19, 2015, the district court granted the
Kings' motion for reconsideration, concluding that the
Fuquays failed to make any showing that their use of King
Lane was adverse use under a claim of right; an essential
element required to create a prescriptive easement. The
district court then entered judgment in favor of the Kings on
July 8, 2015. On July 15, 2015, the Lows moved for partial
summary judgment raising the same ...