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Lemaster v. Powers

Court of Appeals of Iowa

February 5, 2014

NEIL A. LEMASTER and STEPHANIE KEMPKER, Plaintiffs-Appellees/Cross-Appellants,
v.
JOSEPH FRANKLIN POWERS and MERRY LYNN POWERS, husband and wife, Defendants-Appellants, JOSHUA BURCH and CHRISTY BURCH, husband and wife, Respondents-Appellants/Cross-Appellees. LARRY SUNDEN and LINDA SUNDEN, husband and wife, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v.
NEIL A. LEMASTER and STEPHANIE KEMPER, Defendants-Appellees/Cross-Appellants

Editorial Note:

This decision has been referenced in a "Decisions Without Published Opinions" table in the North Western Reporter.

Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Lee (North) County, John M. Wright, Judge. Neighboring landowners appeal a district court order giving Neil LeMaster and Stephanie Kempker exclusive rights to use a roadway that travels across separate easements. LeMaster and Kempker cross-appeal, asserting the court erred in entering a monetary judgment against them.

Elaine F. Gray of Fehseke & Gray Law Offices, Fort Madison, for appellants.

Gregory A. Johnson of Johnson & Skewes, Fort Madison, for appellees.

Considered by Danilson, P.J., and Vaitheswaran and Potterfield, JJ.

OPINION

VAITHESWARAN, J.

This appeal arises from a dispute between neighboring landowners in a residential development in North Lee County. The dispute concerns the scope of certain express easements.

I. Background Facts and Proceedings

It is often stated that a picture is worth a thousand words. That is the case here.

We begin with a 1977 plat map of the residential development.

This map reveals seven lots and a large area north of the lots designated " Outlot 1." Our focus is on Lots 4 and 5, which are bisected by a " roadway easement," and " Outlot 1," which is divided into " Tract I," " Tract II," and " Tract III."

The second picture, also a plat map, hones in on the roadway easement, which runs north into Outlot 1.

The map reveals that petitioners LeMaster and Kempker own the part of Outlot 1 situated east of the roadway easement (Tracts II and III); respondents Joseph Franklin and Merry Lynn Powers own the part of Outlot 1 situated west of the roadway easement (Tract I); respondents Joshua S. and Christy A. Burch own Lot 4, situated south of the LeMaster/Kempker property; and respondents Larry E. and Linda K. Sunden own Lot 5, situated south of the Powers property. The second picture also ...


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