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Egli v. Troy
Iowa Supreme Court
602 N.W.2d 329 (1999)
John A. and Margaret L. Egli (plaintiffs) sued Todd M. and Diana J. Troy, and Joseph and Diane Ranson, (neighbors) (codefendants) to establish the Eglis' ownership by acquiescence of certain land. The Eglis contended that, for more than the statutorily required 10-year period, local landowners acquiesced to the Eglis' use of an old fence to mark their property boundary. The neighbors responded that the fence was not on the boundary but lay entirely within property that Rosemary E. Greve (codefendant) conveyed to them by special warranty deed. The neighbors brought Greve into the case, citing the deed's language absolving purchasers of liability for any legal claim raised "by persons claiming by, through or under" Greve. The neighbors argued that the deed made Greve responsible if her acquiescence helped support the Eglis' claim. Although the court could not say as a matter of law when the requisite acquiescence period occurred, it awarded ownership to the Eglis. The court also granted summary judgment for Greve. The court ruled that the special warranty deed afforded the neighbors no protection, because even if Greve bore some responsibility for acquiescence, such passive conduct was not the affirmative act necessary to make the Eglis claimants by, through, or under Greve. The neighbors appealed to the Iowa Supreme Court, which affirmed the Eglis' ownership by acquiescence and then took up the neighbors' petition against Greve.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Larson, J.)
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