The Title Reporter – Summer 2023

June 22, 2023 | Lawrence S. Han | Michael J. Heller | Matthew V. Spero | Real Estate, Zoning & Land Use | Insurance Coverage

Here is what we cover in this issue of The Title Reporter: A Legal Update for the Title Insurance Industry:

  • A trial court in New York has dismissed a negligence action against a title company brought by a developer, ruling that the only entity to which the title company owed a duty was the party with which it contracted.
  • A trial court in Connecticut has granted summary judgment in favor of a title insurer, finding no evidence “that the insured was forced to remove or remedy” existing structures in the policyholders’ home within the meaning of the title insurance policy.
  • An appellate court in Ohio has affirmed a trial court’s decision in favor of a title insurer, rejecting the policyholders’ contentions that claims against them in an underlying complaint were covered risks under their title insurance policy.
  • A federal district court in Washington has ruled that a title insurance policy was void where the premium payment did not reach the insurance carrier.
  • The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, affirming a decision by the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, has rejected a plaintiff’s claim of an easement over a maintenance road on federal land.
  • A New York trial court has ruled that the owner of a commercial condominium unit in a Manhattan building had an easement over an adjoining commercial unit and, therefore, that a demising wall that separated the two units could remain in its existing location.
  • An appellate court in New York has ruled against plaintiffs claiming a prescriptive easement over a driveway on the defendants’ property and claiming that they were the owners of a certain other portion of the defendants’ property by adverse possession.
  • A federal district court in the Virgin Islands has denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit to quiet title, for adverse possession, and for conversion, concluding that the punitive damages allegations in the plaintiffs’ complaint were sufficient to satisfy the amount-in-controversy for purposes of diversity jurisdiction.
  • An appellate court in New York has affirmed a trial court’s decision in favor of plaintiffs who claimed to own a disputed area of property in Schenectady County in upstate New York through adverse possession.
  • A trial court in New York has ruled that property owners failed to demonstrate their entitlement to the disputed area of a driveway they owned as cotenants with their neighbors.
  • After trial of a lawsuit between abutting property owners of residential property in Norwalk, Connecticut, a court has ruled that the plaintiff failed to demonstrate that she owned disputed property by adverse possession.

Lawrence S. Han, Michael J. Heller and Matthew V. Spero

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