Westwood Homeowners Association (plaintiff) maintains the streets and common areas of Westwood, a planned unit development. The lots in Westwood are subject to covenants to pay yearly assessments to finance the Association’s operations, and the covenants are secured by liens on the property. The owners of 15 of the properties failed to pay their property taxes, so Lane County (defendant) acquired title to the properties in 1988. The County did not pay the assessments to the Association, and in 1990 the Association brought suit to foreclose on its liens on the properties. The County claimed that it had title to the property free of the covenant to pay the assessments, due to a statute providing that properties acquired in tax foreclosure proceedings are free of “liens” and “encumbrances.” Both parties moved for summary judgment, and the trial court entered summary judgment for the Association. The intermediate appellate court affirmed, and the County appealed to the state supreme court.