This blog features case law related to real estate, land use, zoning, and municipal law in Pennsylvania

Tag: Superior Court

Sale of First Lot in Development Does Not Strip Developer of Fee Interest in Platted Roads on Subdivision Plan

In this case out of Adams County the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversed the Superior Court’s determination that upon the sale of a single lot in a subdivision development a developer’s interest in the platted roads depicted on the subdivision plan transforms from a fee interest into an easement interest.  Such a determination, the Court found, would absurdly result in an easement without a servient estate, which is not possible.

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Township Official Entitled to Qualified Immunity for “No Contact” Email to Residents, Despite Violation of First Amendment Rights

This decision from the Third Circuit deals with a civil rights claim filed by Township residents asserting violations of their First Amendment right to petition their government.  At issue was a Township official’s statement to the residents not to communicate with Township officials or employees after the residents’ were perceived to have threatened suit against the Township for its inaction in a dispute with the residents’ neighbors. In reversing the District Court decision, the Third Circuit found that qualified immunity applied to the Township official, because “every reasonable official” in that position would not have known that such a “no contact” email was a violation of the residents’ First Amendment rights.

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Period of Public Ownership Tolls, Rather Than Restarts, Adverse Possession Period

In this quiet title action out of the Court of Common Pleas of Jefferson County, the Superior Court was asked whether a temporary period of ownership by a political subdivision restarted, or merely tolled, the 21-year period necessary to assert a claim of adverse possession. In concluding that such ownership merely tolled, rather than restarted, the 21-year period, the Court reversed the order ejecting the adverse possessors from the subject property.

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Uniform Condominium Act Applies Retroactively To Declarations Enacted Under Predecessor Statute Where No Conflict Exists Between Declaration And UCA Provision

In this dispute between a condominium association council and three condominium owners, the Superior Court was asked to determine whether a provision of the Uniform Condominium Act (UCA) requiring a two-thirds majority vote of owners to amend a Declaration of Condominium, applied retroactively to a Declaration enacted under its precursor, the Unit Property Act (UPA). The Superior Court concluded that because the Declaration was silent about the percentage required for Declaration amendments, no conflict existed between it and the UCA, and thus the UCA provision governed Declaration amendments, requiring a two-thirds vote..

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Years In Bankruptcy Estate Do Not Count For Adverse Possession Claims

In this quiet title action out of Fayette County, the court weighed in on whether a bankruptcy proceeding, by which a property becomes part of a bankruptcy estate, interrupts the continuous possession required to establish adverse possession.  Finding that it does, the court dismissed the adverse possession claim for failing to demonstrate that the property had been continuously possessed for 21 years, among other grounds.

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