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Brewer v. Plagman

Court of Appeals of Iowa

October 23, 2019

DAN BREWER and LINDA BREWER, Plaintiffs-Appellees,
v.
SCOTT PLAGMAN and RANDY DEARDORFF, as Trustee of the Randy G. Deardorff 2009 Revocable Trust, dated July 2, 2009, Defendants-Appellants.

          Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Dallas County, Bradley McCall, Judge.

         The defendants appeal the district court order granting the plaintiffs a boundary by acquiescence. AFFIRMED.

          Jeffrey N. Bump of Bump & Bump, LLP, Panora, for appellants.

          Matt O'Hollearn of Brick Gentry, P.C., West Des Moines, for appellees.

          Considered by Bower, C.J., and Vaitheswaran and Doyle, JJ.

          DOYLE, JUDGE.

         In this appeal of a boundary dispute between neighboring landowners, we must determine whether the district court erred in finding the plaintiffs established a boundary by acquiescence. Because any error in admitting hearsay evidence was not prejudicial and substantial evidence supports finding a boundary by acquiescence, we affirm.

         I. Background Facts and Proceedings.

         Between 1873 and 1911, John Royer acquired three adjoining farms in Dallas County. Over the next century, the farms passed down to Royer's descendants. Dan Brewer-Royer's great grandson-inherited one farm in 1992, and he and his wife, Linda, acquired the deed to a second farm in 2005. Their property consists of the northernmost and southernmost farms that Royer originally bought.

         The remaining Royer farm lies between the parcels owned by the Brewers, with the Brewers' property bordering it on the north, east, and south. It remained in the Royer family until 2000, when Merlin Royer's estate sold it to Randy Deardorff. In 2016, Deardorff sold the southern portion of his parcel to Scott Plagman.

         The subject of this litigation is the boundary running north and south on the eastern side of Deardorff's and Plagman's properties and the western side of the Brewers' property. A fenced corridor the parties call a "jungle lane" also runs north and south at the point where the parties' properties meet. At the north end of the jungle lane is a triangle-shaped area the parties call "the neck," which connects the north pasture to the south pasture.

         (Image Omitted)

         The boundary dispute arose after Plagman obtained a survey of the land in 2016. Although the Brewers believed the jungle lane's western fence line marked the boundary between the farms, the survey revealed the boundary in the legal description does not match the fence's location. The surveyor determined the boundary was "in between" the fences.

         The Brewers filed an action to quiet title, alleging a boundary by acquiescence along the western fence. Deardorff and Plagman counterclaimed, alleging a boundary by acquiescence along the eastern fence. Following a trial, the district court found the ...


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