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Swinney v. Jones

December 17, 2008

ROGER SWINNEY, CAROL SWINNEY, RA SWINNEY, LLP, A COLORADO ENTITIY, AND CE SWINNEY, LLC, A WYOMING ENTITY, APPELLANTS (PLAINTIFFS),
v.
JAMES E. JONES, III, LYNNE A. LOVELACE, LAUREL MILLER LUNSTRUM, CATHLEEN A. JONES, HILLTOP NATIONAL BANK AS TRUSTEE, R.M. WHALEN MD, PC PSP TRUST, AURLA J. WELO, ANTHONY G. INGRAM AND ROBERT P. INGRAM, APPELLEES (DEFENDANTS).



Appeal from the District Court of Natrona County, The Honorable Scott W. Skavdahl, Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Burke, Justice

Before VOIGT, C.J., and GOLDEN, HILL, KITE, and BURKE, JJ.

[¶1] Appellants (Sellers) filed suit against Appellees (Buyers) alleging breach of a real estate sales contract. In response, Buyers sought dismissal and judgment on the pleadings asserting that the claims were barred by the applicable statute of limitations. The district court granted the motions. Sellers appeal, contending that the doctrine of equitable estoppel precludes Buyers from asserting the statute of limitations as an affirmative defense. We affirm.

ISSUE

[¶2] Did the district court err in determining that Sellers' claims are barred by the ten-year statute of limitations set forth in Wyo. Stat. Ann. § 1-3-105(a)(i) (LexisNexis 2007)?

FACTS

[¶3] On April 7, 1992, Elaine Erganbright entered into a contract for the sale of real estate to James Jones and Robert Ingram. In that contract, Ms. Erganbright agreed to convey a portion of the land she owned. She retained ownership to a contiguous parcel of real estate. As part of the agreement, easements were to be provided by Buyers to Sellers.*fn1 With regard to the easements, the agreement stated:

Purchaser shall provide to Seller the following:

A. Purchaser agrees to allow Seller an 80 foot roadway and utility easement within 225 feet of the northwest and abutting the northern side of the Ardon Addition from Country Club Road to the East boundary of Section 13, T33N, R79W of the 6th PM, Natrona County, Wyoming. The exact location of the easement shall be determined at the time of platting of the said lands. Easement shall be basically a straight roadway with exact location provided to Seller within 12 months of the closing date.

B. The Purchaser further agrees to existing and required utility easements along the north and south side of Country Club Road from the center line of Wyoming Blvd. to [Seller's] property.

C. Purchaser agrees to right of ingress and egress easement across Purchaser's property to the Seller's existing ranch roadway which is in the SW1/4 SW1/4 Section 13, T33N, R79W of the 6th PM[,] Natrona County, Wyoming.

D. Purchaser shall also agree to provide to Seller utility easements that may become necessary along Wyoming Boulevard and the easterly boundary of said lands described in Exhibit "A". Said easements shall be large enough for utility and/or roadway construction and maintenance and of a size approved by the City of Casper.

E. All easements provided above shall transfer to assigns or heirs.

F. All locations and sizes of easements are subject to any laws, rules and regulations of the City of Casper or ...


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