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Baker v. KAL, LLC

Supreme Court of Idaho

April 5, 2018

MARIAN B. BAKER, TRUSTEE OF THE MARIAN B. BAKER TRUST, dated May 12, 2013, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
KAL, LLC, an Idaho limited liability company, Defendant-Counterclaimant-Cross Claimant-Appellant, and JOHN STADLER and VICKIE STADLER, husband and wife, Defendants-Counterclaimants-Cross Claimants, and JOSE I. MELENDRERAS and JACQUELINE Z. MELENDRERAS, husband and wife, Defendants-Cross Defendants-Respondents.

         2018 Opinion No. 32

          Appeal from the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Idaho, Kootenai County. Hon. Lansing Haynes, District Judge. The judgment of the district court is affirmed.

          Robert E. Covington, III, Hayden, for appellant.

          Jones, Gledhill, Fuhrman & Gourley, P.A., Boise for respondent Marian B. Baker, Andrew E. Hawes argued.

          James, Vernon and Weeks, P.A., Coeur d'Alene for respondent Melendreas.

          SCHROEDER, Justice pro tem.

         I. Nature of the Case

         This is an easement dispute arising out of Kootenai County. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Marian B. Baker, Trustee of the Marian B. Baker Trust ("Baker"), for an easement over a logging road ("Alexanna Lane") that crosses the property of KAL, LLC ("KAL"). Initially there were claims involving John and Vickie Stadler (the "Stadlers"), and Jose Melendreras and Jacqueline Diaz-Melendreras (the "Melendrerases"). However, the present appeal involves only the claims between Baker and KAL.

         II. Factual and Procedural Background

         A. Factual Background

         Timber-Land-AG, LLC ("Timberland") was the original owner of the parcels at issue, Tracts 7-10, which are adjacent to one another. Timberland conveyed Tracts 7 and 8 to the Melendrerases by a warranty deed in 1999. The 1999 deed had an attachment, Exhibit A, which contained easement language. Regarding Tract 7, which is also referred to as Parcel 1, the 1999 deed gave a legal description of the land, and provided:

RESERVING THEREFROM that portion of the above described parcel which is described in an Ingress, Egress and Utilities Easement as more fully described in Exhibit "B" attached hereto and incorporated herein.
FURTHER RESERVING THEREFROM a strip of land fifteen (15) feet in width paralleling the south boundary line of said Parcel 1 which shall serve as an easement for electric utilities over land and underground and the maintenance of same.

Regarding Tract 8, also referred to as Parcel 2, the 1999 deed gave a legal description of the land, and provided:

RESERVING THEREFROM a strip of land sixty (60) feet in width paralleling the north boundary line of Parcel 2 which shall serve as an easement for ingress, egress and utilities.
TOGETHER WITH a sixty foot easement of the purpose of ingress, egress and utilities along the north boundary line of Tract 9, legally described in Exhibit "C" and west of the Ingress, Egress and Utilities Easement described in Exhibit "B."

Exhibit B describes an Ingress, Egress, and Utilities Easement consisting of a strip of land 60 feet in width that commences in the southeast corner of Tract 12, and ends at the northern border of Tract 9. This easement is also referred to as Alexanna Lane. Exhibit C provides a legal description of the land in Tract 9. At the time the 1999 deed was executed, Timberland retained ownership of Tracts 9 and 10.

          David White, a member of KAL, purchased Tract 9 (the "KAL Property") in 2002. The Stadlers purchased Tract 10 (the "Stadler Property") in 2003. The Melendrerases conveyed Tract 8 to Baker (the "Baker Property") in 2014. The Melendrerases retained ownership of ...


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