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Humphrey v. C.G. Jung Educational Center

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
714 F.2d 477 (1983)


Facts

The Humphrey and the Caldwell families owned several lots of property located in Block 8 of a Houston development. In 1920, the Humphreys and the Caldwells sold one of these lots, Lot F, to Tom Randolph. The general warranty deed had several restrictive provisions, including a provision that the property could be used for residential purposes only and not as a store or shop. The provisions also included language to the effect that the restrictions were covenants running with the land. Further, the deed provided that, if the property owner failed to comply with any provisions of the covenant, the grantors could sue to force compliance or stop further violations, or the property would revert back to the grantors if the grantors elected. Neither the Humphrey nor the Caldwell families owned any property in Block 8 after 1942. In 1972, Lot F was sold to Jasper Galleries (defendant), which demolished the existing residence and built an art gallery. In 1975, Jasper Galleries conveyed Lot F to Carolyn Fay. Fay rented the property to C.G. Jung Education Center of Houston and Archway Galleries (defendants). In 1976, several descendants of the Humphrey family who originally owned Lot F (plaintiffs) sued, alleging that the defendants were using Lot F in violation of the restrictions contained in the 1920 deed. At trial, the defendants argued that the deed provision should be construed as a covenant. The damages available for breach of covenant are limited to injunctive relief and damages. The plaintiffs argued that the provision was a condition subsequent. The damages available for breach of a condition subsequent include reclaiming title to the property. The trial court found for the defendants. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

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