Miller v. Shenk

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Land Use
  • Date Filed: 06-24-2015
  • Case #: A152844
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J. for the Court; Lagesen, J.; Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Under 28.110, all necessary parties must be joined to an action both to protect interested parties and the certainty of the judgment.

Plaintiff Miller brought a declaratory action against Defendants, seeking an implied easement across Defendants' property to his own property. Over the years, a large parcel of land was divided and sold off to different owners, resulting in Plaintiff's total lack of access to his parcel from the public roadway except by crossing over multiple neighboring properties. Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction due to Plaintiff's failure to join the owners of the other parcels affected by or necessary to Plaintiff's requested declaration as required by ORS 28.110. The trial court denied Defendants' motion to dismiss, and Defendants appealed. On appeal, Defendants argued that because Plaintiff's property has no recorded easement for access over any neighboring properties, and Plaintiff would necessarily have to cross multiple parcels to gain access to his own parcel, the other property owners affected by and necessary to determination of the easement requested by Plaintiff should have been joined or Defendants' motion to dismiss granted. The Court held that because any easement over Defendants' property is subject to right of passage over neighboring properties for which there is no recorded easement, those neighboring property owners were necessary parties and must be joined pursuant to ORS 28.110 to protect their interests and the certainty of the judgment. Reversed and remanded.

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