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Rase v. Castle Mountain Ranch, Inc.

Supreme Court of Montana
631 P.2d 680 (Mont. 1981)


Facts

Williams and Tavenner, Inc. (Tavenner) owned cabin sites surrounding a lake in Montana. A number of cabin owners (plaintiffs) owned the cabins on Tavenner’s land. Tavenner permitted the cabin owners to make substantial improvements on the land. At some point, Tavenner and the cabin owners executed a license agreement to govern their relationship with a provision stating that either party could terminate the license agreement at any time. Over the course of Tavenner’s ownership of the land, the license agreement was loosely enforced, if at all, and served as more of a formality. Tavenner never intended to expel any of the cabin owners from the land. When Tavenner decided to sell the land to Louis Ward, the owner of Castle Mountain Ranch (Ward) (defendant), Ward sent the cabin owners notice of termination of the license agreement. The cabin owners filed for a permanent injunction, quieting title to their cabins and establishing easements on the land. The Third Judicial District Court of Powell County imposed a constructive trust on the cabin sites in the improvements made to the land by the cabin owners. Ward appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sheehy, J.)

Concurrence (Shea, J.)

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