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Witter v. Taggart

Court of Appeals of New York
577 N.E.2d 338 (1991)


Facts

Lawrance owned a tract of land on Long Island, through which a canal flowed. In 1951, Lawrance partitioned the land, and sold the portion of the land north of the canal. In the deed to the grantee, Lawrance included a covenant stating that anyone holding the land in question was not permitted to build a dock on the canal or otherwise interfere with the view of the canal. This land eventually was sold to Witter (plaintiff). The southern portion, held by Lawrance, remained in his possession until his death. This plot was eventually purchased by Taggart (defendant). Neither Taggart’s deed, nor any other deed in the chain of title between him and Lawrance contained a provision regarding the same restrictive covenant on Witter’s land. When Taggart attempted to construct a dock on the canal, Witter brought this action to enjoin him from doing so. The trial court ruled in favor of Taggart, stating that his land was not subject to any covenant. Witter then petitioned for certiorari to the Court of Appeals of New York.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bellacosa, 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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