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Hersh Properties v. McDonald’s Corporation

Minnesota Supreme Court
588 N.W.2d 728 (1999)


In 1925, Arthur and Doris Robinson registered title to their property under the Torrens Act of 1901. In 1944, the Robinsons split their property into two separate parcels, retaining ownership of both. Thereafter, the Robinsons sold half of the property, the “Hersh Parcel,” to a corporation, granting a signage easement over the parcel they retained. The Hersh Parcel was eventually sold to Hersh Properties (plaintiff) in 1995. The conveyance expressly referenced the easement. In 1984, the Robinsons conveyed their remaining parcel to McDonald’s Corporation (defendant). McDonald’s certificate of title acknowledged that the land was burdened by the signage easement. In 1995, Hersh indicated its desire to place signage on McDonald’s property consistent with the easement. McDonald’s refused, challenging the validity of the easement. Hersh brought suit, seeking declaratory judgment of validity. McDonald’s contended that the Marketable Title Act (the act) operated to invalidate the easement because Hersh and its predecessors had failed to file a sworn notice of the easement, as required by the act. Hersh argued that the act was inapplicable because McDonald’s did not possess the requisite source of title to invoke it.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Anderson, J.)

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