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Vukanovich v. Kine

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-22-2012
Case #: A146608
Hadlock, J., for the Court; Ortega, P.J.; and Sercombe; J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A146608.pdf

Contract Law: Pursuant to ORS 93.740, in order to assert a valid claim of lis pendens, a party to a purchasing agreement must have had a present interest in the discussed property at the time of the agreement.

Vukanovich appealed the trial court's decision denying his notice of lis pendens. In 2009, Vukanovich and Kine signed a letter of understanding stating that both individuals would create a "new LLC" that would purchase certain real property. In 2010, Kine withdrew from the agreement and started his own LLC, Stonecrest. Stonecrest then purchased the entirety of the previously discussed property. Vukanovich sued Kine and Stonecrest for breach of contract. Vukanovich also filed a notice of lis pendens, asking the court to convey Vukanovich a 50% interest in the real property, should Vukanovich prevail in the lawsuit. The trial court struck down Vukanovich's lis pendens claim under ORS 93.740, holding that it was not a valid claim of encumbrance. The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court's ruling, holding that the notice of lis pendens was not a valid claim because neither Vukanovich nor Kine held any interest in the property when the agreement was made. Affirmed.