Attorney David Murray applied his knowledge of property law and land valuation to obtain a 1.7 million dollar settlement for his clients against a developer who he believed was violating the restrictive covenants on and around the landowners' property.
In the case of Bradford v. Dowd, Attorney David Murray represented the landowners who found themselves surrounded by a new planned subdivision development. The main issue arose when after a review of the deeds and title documents to the surrounding property it became apparent that there were restrictive covenants that prevented new public streets and the subdivision of a large portion of the surrounding property.
Murray filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit on behalf of his clients against the developer requesting the Court to determine the proper application of the restrictive covenants and to determine whether the developer was in violation of the restrictive covenants.
In response, the developer filed a counterclaim against the landowners alleging that the intent of the lawsuit was to prohibit his ability to subdivide the property and that the landowners had slandered the developer’s title to the property subject to the restrictive covenants. Murray subsequently filed a motion with the Court asking for the slander of title counterclaim to be dismissed and, after a lengthy hearing, the Court granted Murray’s motion to dismiss the counterclaim.
Thereafter, the parties met for mediation on three separate occasions. The developer proposed resolving the lawsuit by purchasing the landowners’ property which would then eliminate the restrictions against subdivision of the surrounding properties. Although the developer informed the landowners that he believed their property was only worth $1,200,000 without the restrictive covenants, the developer agreed to pay $1,700,000 after lengthy negotiation to purchase the property and provided other concessions to the landowners to give them time to find a suitable replacement property.