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Hines v. Womack Hyde

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Second Circuit

June 27, 2018

CAROLYN SUE HINES Plaintiff-Appellee
v.
KAREN DENISE WOMACK HYDE, KENNETH WOMACK, ANNETTE WOMACK AND JOHN WOMACK Defendant-Appellants

          Appealed from the Eighth Judicial District Court for the Parish of Winn, Louisiana Trial Court No. 43, 848, Honorable Ronald Lewellyan (Ad Hoc), Judge

          BETHARD & BETHARD, LLP Counsel for Appellant By: Henry W. Bethard, V Karen Denise Womack Benjamin T. Bethard Hyde

          LINEAGE LAW, LLC Counsel for Appellee By: Ricky L. Sooter Carolyn Sue Hines Jeremy C. Cedars

          ROBERT LEAVINES Agent for LeMart Properties

          KENNETH WOMACK In Proper Person ANNETTE WOMACK In Proper Person JOHN WOMACK In Proper Person

          GATES LAW FIRM Curator for Thomas M. By: Justin Keith Gates Hines

          Before BROWN, MOORE, and COX, JJ.

          MOORE, J.

         Karen Womack Hyde appeals a petitory judgment which found that her lot, in the city of Winnfield, measures only 54.3 × 104.4 feet, instead of the 74.3 × 104.4 feet stated in her credit sale deed. We affirm.

         FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         The plaintiff, Carolyn Hines, and defendant, Karen Womack Hyde, are next-door neighbors on West South Avenue in Winnfield: Ms. Hines to the west, Ms. Hyde to the east. Ms. Hines alleged that in early 2013, Ms. Hyde's family members started parking vehicles on the east side of her (Ms. Hines's) lot, built a fence on her lot, and threatened and "cussed" her when she tried to have her lot surveyed. Ms. Hines filed this suit, in August 2013, for possession of her lot, preliminary and permanent injunction, and damages.

         Ms. Hyde reconvened, in March 2014, alleging that she actually owned the eastern strip of Ms. Hines's lot. In support, she cited her own credit sale deed, dated April 21, 1986, from W.R. "Bill" Roberts. This described her lot as starting 208.7 feet west of the SE corner of Lot 3, Old Town of Winnfield (this point of beginning, hereinafter "POB", is not in dispute), and then running 74.3 feet to the west. By this measure, she contended, she owned the strip of land that Ms. Hines had been using for years as a driveway.

         Ms. Hines responded, first urging that by converting the matter to a petitory action, Ms. Hyde conceded that she (Ms. Hines) had been in physical possession of the contested strip. She then alleged that an ancestor in title, Olin Mathieson Chemical Corp., owned both lots prior to 1961. In May 1961, by separate acts, Olin sold both tracts to someone named James Scales. One of these acts described the eastern lot (now belonging to Ms. Hyde) as starting 208.7 feet west of the POB and the running 54.4 feet to the west. The other described the western lot (now belonging to Ms. Hines) as starting 263.1 feet west of the POB (note, 208.7 54.4 = 263.1 feet) and running west 54.4 feet. In 1979, Scales's heirs sold both tracts to Roberts, with both lots as described in the 1961 conveyances. In December 1984, Roberts sold the western lot to Ms. Hines and her husband; however, the property description said it began 283 feet west of the POB, instead of the 263.1 stated in the prior acts, and ran 54.4 feet to the west. Ms. Hines attached a 2013 survey showing that if her boundary line was that far over, it would run through a brick apartment house on the west side of her lot. Ms. Hines conceded that in 1986, Roberts sold the eastern lot to Ms. Hyde, described as starting 208.7 feet west of the POB and running 74.3 feet to the west. She contended, however, that an error had occurred in her property description, and that, at any rate, she had exercised possession of her lot for over 30 years.[1]

         Ms. Hines then filed a motion for summary judgment. She reiterated all the facts of her earlier pleadings, and argued that the documents showed that the original owners, Olin and Roberts, owned two adjacent lots, each with a 54.4-foot frontage; however, when Roberts conveyed the east tract to Ms. Hyde, he erroneously listed a 74.3-foot frontage. Ms. Hines argued ...


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