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Gambrell v. Nivens

Court of Appeals of Tennessee
275 S.W.3d 429 (2008)


 

Facts

Joe and Jeri Gambrell (plaintiffs) subdivided their land into four parts and sold three of the lots. With each of the three sales, the Gambrells attached to the deed undated, unsigned covenants restricting the lots to residential uses only. The covenants stated that they ran with the land for a period of 30 years. One of the purchasers, Frank Foshee, conveyed his lot to Sonny and Carrie Nivens (defendants) within the 30-year covenant period. The Nivenses had notice of the restrictive covenant prior to the conveyance. Despite the restriction, the Nivenses commenced construction of a wedding chapel on the lot. The Gambrells brought suit, seeking to enjoin the construction. The trial court issued a permanent injunction enjoining the Nivenses from using the lot as a wedding chapel or for any other commercial use. The Nivenses appealed, arguing that the restrictive covenant was not enforceable as an equitable servitude.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Farmer, J.)

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