Procedural Posture

Appellants, a property owner, his agent, and a real estate salesmen, challenged a judgment of the Superior Court of Merced County (California), which found that the salesmen engaged in a joint venture in the subdivision project with appellants. The salesmen were enjoined from interfering with respondent adjoining property owners’ water rights and affirmatively ordered to restore respondents’ right to transport water.

Overview: strip club requirements

A seller owned contiguous lots of about 10 acres each. He sold the south lot to the property owner, who subdivided it. Prior to the owner’s purchase, an open ditch carried irrigation water from a source on the north lot retained by the seller. The property owner’s west line was also the east line of adjoining owners’ property. However, they owned only the south half of the lot and another individual owned the north half. All the owners agreed to relocate the irrigation ditch. Sometime later it was moved again so the property owner could meet subdivision street requirements. When one of the adjoining owners was required to lay a covered pipeline in the place of the open ditch, he sought an injunction preventing interference with his transportation of water and also to compel restoration of his right to transport water over the adjacent property. The court found that the rights of the parties rested upon the new location of the ditch, which had been substituted for the original location. The former easement across the subdivision property sold to the property owner was superseded or eliminated by the substitution of a new right of way entirely on the seller’s parcel.

Outcome

The court reversed the judgment of the trial court.