RICK and TERRI WIMER, CURTIS and CYNTHIA LI, and HARV GLOE, Appellants (Plaintiffs),
JERRY and CHERI COOK, and COOK'S CONSTRUCTION, LLC, a Wyoming Limited Liability Company, Appellees (Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs). and HAROLD REIMLER, and HAROLD REIMLER TRUSTEE of the REIMLER FAMILY TRUST, Appellants (Third Party Defendants), JERRY and CHERI COOK, and COOK'S CONSTRUCTION, LLC, a Wyoming Limited Liability Company, Appellants (Defendants/Third Party Plaintiffs),
RICK and TERRI WIMER, CURTIS and CYNTHIA LI, and HARV GLOE, Appellees (Plaintiffs), and HAROLD REIMLER, and HAROLD REIMLER TRUSTEE of the REIMLER FAMILY TRUST, Appellees (Third Party Defendants)
from the District Court of Natrona County. The Honorable
Daniel L. Forgey, Judge.
Appellants in Case No. S-15-0154: Cameron S. Walker of
Schwartz, Bon, Walker & Studer, LLC, Casper, Wyoming.
Appellees in Case No. S-15-0154: P. Craig Silva of Williams,
Porter, Day, and Neville, P.C., Casper, Wyoming.
BURKE, C.J., and HILL, DAVIS, FOX, and KAUTZ, JJ.
[¶1] Rick and Terri Wimer, Curtis and
Cynthia Li, and Harv Gloe (hereinafter collectively referred
to as the Wimers) filed a complaint against their neighbors,
Jerry and Cheri Cook and Cook's Construction, LLC
(hereinafter collectively referred to as the Cooks), seeking
an injunction prohibiting the Cooks from placing multiple
single-family housing structures on a twenty-acre parcel of
land owned by the Cooks because, in the Wimers' view, the
conduct violated the neighborhood's covenants. The Cooks
responded with a counterclaim and a third-party complaint
against all their neighbors, including Harold Reimler,
individually and as trustee of the Reimler Family Trust,
seeking a declaration from the district court that the
covenants had been abandoned. After a bench trial, the
district court determined the covenants had not been
abandoned and the Cooks' plan to develop the twenty-acre
parcel did not violate the covenants. Thereafter, the Wimers
filed this appeal and the Cooks cross-appealed. We affirm in
part and reverse in part.
[¶2] The Wimers raised several issues on
appeal, which can be distilled to the following:
Whether the district court erred when it denied the Wimers
injunctive relief after determining that the Cooks'
plan did not violate the protective covenants.
The Cooks cross-appealed and raised the following issue:
Whether the trial court erred as a matter of law when it
drew the legal conclusion that the restrictive covenants
have not been abandoned.
[¶3] On June 7, 1978, Van R. and Kathy Jane
Irvine recorded a " Declaration of Covenants,
Conditions, and Restrictions" with the Natrona County
Clerk for an area that will be referred to as the "
Phillips Lane area" in Natrona County. All of the land
involved in this case is subject to these covenants. The
purpose of the covenants was " to insure the use and
development of said property for exclusive residential and
agricultural purposes only, to prevent the impairment of the
attractiveness of said property for such purposes,
and to maintain property values therein[.]" Although
lengthy, it is important at the outset to quote the following
portions of the covenants:
1. Residential Use: All of the land designated in this area
shall be utilized for single family residential purposes
only, except that any and all agricultural operations of any
nature may be carried on on any of the land at any time
2. Owner: Shall mean and refer to the record owner, whether
one or more persons or entities, of a fee simple title to any
parcel which is part of the property, including contract
buyers, but excluding those having such interest merely as
security for the performance of an obligation.
3. Property: Shall mean and refer to that certain real
property described in exhibit " A" attached hereto.
GENERAL RESTRICTIONS ON ALL OF THE
1. Zoning Regulations: No land within the area shall be
occupied, used by, or for, any structure or purpose which is
contrary to the zoning regulations of Natrona County,
2. Uses: Each parcel within the area shall be utilized for
single family residential building and agricultural
activities of any type, all other uses shall be expressly
3. Prohibited Activities: Except that the dwelling on any
parcel in the area may be leased by the owner or owners
thereof for rental income purposes, no business, commercial,
or manufacturing enterprise, or any enterprise of any kind or
nature, whether or not conducted for a profit, shall be
operated, maintained or conducted on any parcel in the area
or on any improvement erected or placed therein, nor shall
any dwelling or any part thereof be used as a boarding or
rooming house, nor shall any mining or quarrying operations
or operations for drilling of any oil or gas well be
conducted or permitted in the area, nor shall any signs,
billboards or advertising devices, except as hereinafter
provided, be erected, placed or permitted to remain on any
parcel in the area.
. . . .
5. Animals and Livestock: It shall be permissible for the
owners of any parcel, in addition to household pets, to own
and maintain on the parcel horses, cattle, sheep, chickens
and rabbits. No animal or animals shall be maintained in the
area even though permissible within this provision, if it is
determined that such animal or animals constitute a nuisance
to other owners in the area. It is expressly understood that
all dogs will be controlled and confined to the immediate
household yard area of each and every residence in the area.
No dogs shall be allowed to run loose and in any way become a
nuisance or danger to the other residents of the area or the
6. No Resubdivisions: No parcel less than twenty (20) acres
in size shall be sold or conveyed; however, conveyances or
dedication of easements for utilities or private lanes or
roads may be made. This provision shall be effective through
May 1, 1983. After this date, additional subdivision into
parcels less than twenty (20) acres in size may be allowed if
provided for under Natrona County zoning regulations.
7. Service Yards and Trash: Clothes lines, service equipment,
trash, woodpiles, or storage areas shall be screened by
planting or fencing to conceal them from view of neighboring
parcels, drives and roads. All refuse and trash shall be
removed from all parcels and shall not be allowed to
8. Fences: All parcels shall be fenced with at least five (5)
barbed wires or sheep-tight woven wire and two (2) barbed
wires and shall be maintained according to good ranching and
management practices. In the event that the fences are not
properly maintained, the adjoining property owner shall have
the right to perform the necessary repairs and maintenance
share the cost of any repairs and maintenance with the owner.
RESTRICTIONS ON RESIDENTIAL TRACTS
1. Number and Location of Buildings: No buildings or
structures shall be placed, erected, altered, or permitted to
remain on ...