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By: Cory L. Braddock
The Arizona Court of Appeals recent decision in Cook v. Town of Pinetop-Lakeside, 661 Ariz. Adv. Rep. 31 (App, May 28, 2013) reiterated its forty-three year old holding in City of Tucson v. Morgan, 13 Ariz. App. 193, 195, 475 P.2d 285, 287 (App. 1970) and held that “the statute of limitations does not run against a plaintiff in possession who brings a quiet title action purely to remove a cloud on the title to his property.”
In 2001, Jerry Cook asked the town of Pinetop-Lakeside (the “Town”) to abandon a public right-of-way to him because the right-of-way was no longer needed for public use. The Town council agreed and passed a resolution abandoning the right-of-way to Cook. In 2007, Cook’s neighbor, Cletis Heffel, filed a complaint with the Town because his own property purportedly became landlocked by the Town’s abandonment of the public right-of-way. The Town held two public meetings to discuss how to resolve the issue; Cook attended each meeting. The Town ultimately passed a resolution rescinding the 2001 abandonment of the public right-of-way with Cook in the audience. In October 2007, the Town recorded its resolution with the Navajo County Recorder’s Office.
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