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Ellingsen v. Franklin County

117 Wash.2d 24, 810 P.2d 910 (1991)

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Ellingsen v. Franklin County

Washington Supreme Court

117 Wash.2d 24, 810 P.2d 910 (1991)

Facts

Carl Ellingsen (plaintiff) purchased land from owners who had conveyed a road easement to Franklin County, Washington (county) (defendant). Washington’s general recording statute required land conveyances to be recorded in the county auditor’s office in order to give the public notice of every land transaction. A separate statute required road-related conveyances to be recorded in the county engineer’s office for the declared purpose of tracking county road systems. Both statutes defined the respective offices as offices of record. The road easement had been recorded with the county engineer but not with the county auditor. Ellingsen sued the county to quiet title. The trial court granted summary judgment for Ellingsen, and the county appealed to the Washington Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brachtenbach, J.)

Dissent (Smith, J.)

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