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Runyon v. Paley

Supreme Court of North Carolina
416 S.E.2d 177 (1992)


Facts

Ruth Bragg Gaskins owned a four-acre tract of land. On May 1, 1954, Gaskins conveyed one and one-half acres of her property to the Runyons (defendants). On January 6, 1960, the Runyons conveyed the land back to Gaskins. Two days later, Gaskins re-conveyed a portion of the one and one-half acre tract in addition to another lot to the Runyons. The next day, on January 9, 1960, Gaskins conveyed the remaining portion of the one and one-half acre tract of land to the Brughs. The deed of conveyance restricted the Brughs from constructing condominiums on the property. The deed indicated that the restrictions would run until they were removed or until nearby properties were put to commercial use. At the time the deed was executed, the Gaskins lived in a residential dwelling located across the street. She lived there until her death in August 1961. After her death, her daughter, Williams (plaintiff), acquired the dwelling. Warren D. Paley (defendant), acquired the Brughs’ property conveyance. Paley then prepared to construct a condominium on the property. Williams brought suit to enjoin Paley from violating the restrictive covenant. The trial court dismissed the case for failure to state a claim. The Court of Appeals affirmed on the grounds that the covenants were personal to Gaskins and unenforceable upon her death.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Meyer, J.)

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