Haisfield v. Lape
Supreme Court of Virginia
570 S.E.2d 794 (2002)
Kenneth R. Lape and Barbara Gsand Lape owned 148 acres of land known as Oakmont Farm. In 1994, the Lapes conveyed 48 acres of their land to Dr. Hamilton Moses III and Alexandra G. Moses. The deed contained an easement granting the Moseses a line-of-sight easement. The easement restricted the Lapes from building structures visible from the Moseses home. In 2000, the Lapes’ trustees (plaintiffs) contracted to sell 99 acres of their remaining land, known as Laurel Ridge Farm, to Audrey Lea Haisfield and Laurel Ridge, LLC (Haisfield). Paragraph 14 of the purchase agreement stated that the Lapes would convey the property free of encumbrances but nevertheless subject to restrictive covenants that did not render title unmarketable. Haisfield gave an earnest money deposit of $50,000, which the Lapes were entitled to take if Haisfield defaulted. The parties agreed to close on June 30, 2000. On June 29, however, Haisfield discovered that Laurel Ridge Farm was subject to the line-of-sight easement previously granted to the Moseses. Haisfield argued that the easement rendered title unmarketable and, pursuant to the purchase agreement between Haisfield and the Lapes, Haisfield gave the Lapes 60 days to cure the defect. She also asserted that, pursuant to Paragraph 14, she was entitled to refuse to close the transaction and to collect her $50,000 deposit if the Lapes failed to cure the defect. The Lapes disagreed that the easement rendered title unmarketable and brought suit, claiming their right to the $50,000 deposit as liquidated damages. Haisfield counterclaimed, arguing that the Lapes lacked marketable title and demanding the return of the deposit. The trial court held that the line-of-sight easement did not render title unmarketable and granted the Lapes a judgment of $50,000 plus interest.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Lemons, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 170,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.