Logourl black
From our private database of 14,200+ case briefs...

State v. Hess

Supreme Court of Minnesota
684 N.W.2d 414 (Minnesota 2004)


Facts

On April 1, 1898, Thomas B. and Harriet G. Walker and W.T. and Clotilde G. Joyce conveyed a corridor of land to the Brainer and Northern Minnesota Railway Company. The deed specified that the conveyance would be valid so long as the corridor was used “for right of way and for railway purposes,” but that the conveyance would terminate once the property was used otherwise. The land was eventually conveyed to the Burlington Northern Railway Company (BNRC). In 1985, the BNRC ceased to use the land for its railroad line. On September 13, 1991, the BNRC conveyed its land to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) (plaintiff). The DNR acquired the land in order to create the Paul Bunyan State Trail, which was made available for public use. Between 1977 and 1995, Brian and Amelia Sandberg (defendants) acquired parcels of land abutting the corridor and the trail. On December 8, 1992, Duwayne Hess (defendant) acquired property abutting the trail. Beginning in October 1998, the Sandbergs and Hess blocked off the trail where the trail met their properties. The DNR brought this action to quiet title, seeking a ruling that the DNR owned the parts of the trail blocked off by the defendants. The district court granted the DNR summary judgment. It ruled that the 1898 deed conveyed a fee simple determinable with a limitation as to use of the land. It further found that the Marketable Title Act extinguished all limitations not asserted within 40 years and therefore concluded the DNR owned the property in fee simple. The court of appeals reversed, finding that the 1898 deed granted an easement and thus concluded that the defendants owned the land.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Nehring, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 250,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,200 briefs, keyed to 189 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.