Burke v. Maka

[PROPERTY LAW]

In Burke v. Maka,[1] the supreme court held that the doctrine of laches precludes a party from challenging the validity of a covenant where the party knew of the shared use yet failed to assert a right to exclusive use for more than four years.[2] Lot 9A shared a driveway with adjacent Lot 9B.[3] In 2001, the owner of both lots filed a covenant granting each lot access to a shared driveway.[4] However, this covenant was not recorded until 2004.[5] The Burkes, purchased Lot 9A in 2004.[6] Although they were unaware of the covenant, the Burkes stipulated that its recording before the sale placed them on constructive notice.[7] Further, the Burkes did not object when the owner of 9B utilized the shared driveway.[8] It was not until 2009 that the Burkes contested the covenant, filing suit to quiet title, arguing that the covenant was invalid.[9] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that evidence of the Burke’s knowledge of the covenant combined with their failure to object to the shared use of the driveway for more than four years constituted an unreasonable delay in seeking relief that consequently prejudiced the owners of Lot 9B.[10] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that the doctrine of laches precludes a party from challenging the validity of a covenant where the party knew of the shared use yet failed to assert a right to exclusive use for more than four years.[11]

 

 



[1] 296 P.3d 976 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 980. 

[3] Id. at 977.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 978.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Id. at 980.

[11] Id.

Burke v. Maka

[PROPERTY LAW]

In Burke v. Maka,[1] the supreme court held that the doctrine of laches precludes a party from challenging the validity of a covenant where the party knew of the shared use yet failed to assert a right to exclusive use for more than four years.[2] Lot 9A shared a driveway with adjacent Lot 9B.[3] In 2001, the owner of both lots filed a covenant granting each lot access to a shared driveway.[4] However, this covenant was not recorded until 2004.[5] The Burkes, purchased Lot 9A in 2004.[6] Although they were unaware of the covenant, the Burkes stipulated that its recording before the sale placed them on constructive notice.[7] Further, the Burkes did not object when the owner of 9B utilized the shared driveway.[8] It was not until 2009 that the Burkes contested the covenant, filing suit to quiet title, arguing that the covenant was invalid.[9] The supreme court affirmed the lower court’s decision, reasoning that evidence of the Burke’s knowledge of the covenant combined with their failure to object to the shared use of the driveway for more than four years constituted an unreasonable delay in seeking relief that consequently prejudiced the owners of Lot 9B.[10] Affirming the lower court’s decision, the supreme court held that the doctrine of laches precludes a party from challenging the validity of a covenant where the party knew of the shared use yet failed to assert a right to exclusive use for more than four years.[11]

 

 



[1] 296 P.3d 976 (Alaska 2013).

[2] Id. at 980. 

[3] Id. at 977.

[4] Id.

[5] Id. at 978.

[6] Id.

[7] Id.

[8] Id.

[9] Id.

[10] Id. at 980.

[11] Id.