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Luevano v. Group One

Court of Appeals of New Mexico
779 P.2d 552 (1989)


Facts

Albert Simms owned a tract of property containing a road along the northern border. The road ran in an east and west direction. In 1953, Simms granted an easement across this road to a group of homeowners on the north side of the road (Group One) (defendants) and their “heirs and assignees.” The easement gave Group One access to their rear side of their homes. Although Group One’s properties were situated along only part of the road, the easement included the entire road. Another group of landowners (Group Five) (defendants) owned a separate set of properties also north of the road, next to Group One’s properties. In 1987, John and Marilyn Luevano (plaintiffs), successors to Simms’s property, built a fence along the northern portion of the road, blocking Group Five’s access to the rear of their homes. The Luevanos then filed a quiet title action seeking to extinguish the portion of the road easement behind Group Five’s homes. After the suit was filed, members of Group One, William and Sophia Padilla (defendants), assigned their easement to Group Five. The defendants argued that Simms’s use of the phrase “heirs and assignees” in the grant is evidence that Simms intended to make the easement assignable. The trial court held that the assignment was valid and ordered the Luevanos to remove the fence. The Luevanos appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Apodaca, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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