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City of Bowie v. MIE Properties, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Maryland
922 A.2d 509 (2007)


Facts

In 1986 MIE Properties Inc.’s (plaintiff) predecessor in title covenanted to the City of Bowie (the City) (defendant) that it would limit the development of its property to fourteen enumerated uses. The parties further agreed that the subject property would be developed into a science and technology, research and office park. In 2001, MIE leased some of its space to a dance studio. In 2002, the city sued in the Circuit Court for Prince George’s County to enjoin the space from being used as a dance studio. MIE counterclaimed for declaratory judgment to render the covenant unenforceable owing to changes in circumstance which obviated the purpose of the covenant. Finding that there was no change in circumstances to defeat the purpose of the covenant, the circuit court upheld the covenant, declared MIE in violation thereof, and enjoined the dance studio from operating on the subject premises. Reversing the circuit court, the Court of Special Appeals stated that outcome depended on the “reasonable probability” that the parties can achieve the purpose of the covenant within a reasonable time rather than the “theoretical possibility” that the trial court had considered. The City appealed.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Harrell, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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