Amada Family Limited Partnership v. Pomeroy: Colorado Court of Appeals expressly affirms the continuing viability of the common-law after-acquired title doctrine and expressly recognizes utility easements by necessity

On May 27, 2021, a division of the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Amada Family Limited Partnership v. Pomeroy, 2021 COA 73.  In that case, the court decided two significant issues that apparently had never been expressly ruled on by a Colorado appellate court before: (1) that Colorado’s common-law after-acquired title doctrine was not abrogated by adoption of the after-acquired interest statute; and (2) that utility easements may be implied by necessity.

As is often the case in matters involving access and implied property rights, the facts and history underlying Amada are complicated, but the case’s two most significant rulings are not. … Read More »

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Colorado Court of Appeals clarifies that a finding of irreparable harm is not required to enter a permanent injunction to enforce an easement

On March 21, 2019, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Rinker v. Colina-Lee, holding for the first time that the “irreparable harm” element typically required to grant a permanent injunction is not needed for injunctions issued to enforce easements. 2019 COA 45. While the facts underlying the case are long and somewhat convoluted, for the purposes of the court’s “irreparable harm” holding, the case involves two real property owners along a private road governed by an association agreement. Id., ¶¶ 12-14. Uphill property alterations by the association and other members caused debris to accumulate on Mr.… Read More »

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Ten Years After Colorado’s Adverse Possession Amendment: a brief look backwards and forwards

In response to national outrage over an infamous adverse possession case in Boulder, Colorado, in which a lawyer and a judge intentionally took their neighbors’ undeveloped land through adverse possession, the Colorado legislature amended the state’s adverse possession statute (C.R.S. § 38-41-101) to make the claim significantly harder to prove.  It did this because it believed “there were insufficient ‘obstacles’ to establishing a claim for adverse possession under the existing law.”[1]  Effective July 1, 2008, the amendment created a heightened burden of proof, additional element requirements, and the possibility of a losing defendant recovering money from successful plaintiffs for the value of the land they took and the taxes the defendant had paid on that land.… Read More »

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