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Bryant v. Blevins

Supreme Court of California
884 P.2d 1034 (1994)


In 1909, the Brandenburgers divided their lot, conveying the west half to the Haak family, and keeping the east half. In 1965, the Brandenburgers conveyed the east half to the Reynoldses, who built a barbed wire fence dividing the two parcels. In 1977, the Reynoldses conveyed their property to Reed and Jean Blevins (defendants), informing them that the fence marked the boundary line. The Blevinses replaced the fence with sturdier materials. In 1986, Jackson and Bryant (plaintiffs) purchased the west half of the lot. Shortly thereafter, a surveyor determined that the fence was not located on the true boundary between the properties, but encroached onto the west parcel. After the Blevinses refused to move the fence, Jackson and Bryant sued to recover the portion of land lost by the inaccurate fence placement. The trial court applied the agreed-boundary doctrine and found in the Blevinses’ favor, concluding that the location of the fence constituted the proper boundary because when the Reynoldses erected the original fence, there was: (1) uncertainty as to the location of the true boundary line and (2) an agreement between the Reynoldses and Jackson’s and Bryant’s predecessors that the fence would be used to fix the boundary. The court of appeal affirmed. Bryant appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (George, J.)

Dissent (Mosk, J.)

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