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Berg v. Ting

Supreme Court of Washington
886 P.2d 564 (1995)


Facts

Norman and Marjorie Berg (plaintiffs) own a tract of land adjacent to a tract of land previously owned by John and Beverly Cahill. On the other side of the Cahills’ property lay a tract of land owned by Mr. and Mrs. Stuart Young. In 1983, the Cahills and the Youngs agreed to subdivide their properties and submitted a short plat application to the city. The Bergs officially opposed the application. In 1984, the Bergs, the Cahills, and the Youngs entered an agreement under which the Bergs would withdraw their opposition in exchange for an easement over the Cahills’ property. A grant of easement was recorded on June 18, 1984. The grant gave the parties the freedom to select the exact location of the easement within tracts A and B. Tracts A and B were to be specifically defined once the short plat application was approved and recorded. The short plat application was not approved until May 2, 1988. By then, it had been considerably reconfigured and redesignated. As a result, the portion of the Cahills’ property described in the grant did not actually depict the area where the easement would actually exist. In October 1988, Robert Y. and Kathy Ting (defendants) purchased the Cahills’ property. The Tings’ deed did not mention the Bergs’ easement and the Tings refused to recognize it. The Bergs brought suit in March 1990 to quiet title in the easement. The trial court and Court of Appeals held that the grant of the easement was void for failure to satisfy the statute of frauds. However, the Court of Appeals held that the grant of the easement was nevertheless enforceable under the doctrine of part performance.

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Holding and Reasoning (Brachtenbach, J.)

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Concurrence/Dissent (Durham, J.)

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