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Jenifer Lindsay, As Successor Trustee, Etc., et al v. Kenneth O. Fletcher

November 26, 2012

JENIFER LINDSAY, AS SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE, ETC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS, CROSS-DEFENDANTS AND APPELLANTS,
v.
KENNETH O. FLETCHER, AS TRUSTEE, ETC., DEFENDANT, CROSS-COMPLAINANT AND RESPONDENT.



(Super. Ct. No. 167312)

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robie , J.

Lindsay v. Fletcher

CA3

NOT TO BE PUBLISHED

California Rules of Court, rule 8.1115(a), prohibits courts and parties from citing or relying on opinions not certified for publication or ordered published, except as specified by rule 8.1115(b). This opinion has not been certified for publication or ordered published for purposes of rule 8.1115.

Robert Read and Lyn Read (as trustees of The Read Family Trust) brought this action against Kenneth O. Fletcher (as trustee of the Kenneth O. Fletcher Revocable Family Trust) to quiet title to a nonexclusive prescriptive easement over a bridge and roadway that the Reads contend provide the only access to property owned by their trust. Fletcher cross-complained against the Reads, seeking a judicial declaration that they have no interest in the bridge or roadway over the real property at issue.

Following an unreported court trial, the court entered judgment in Fletcher's favor on both the complaint and the cross-complaint.

The Reads*fn1 contend on appeal that the trial court's decision is unsupported by the facts because there "simply was no evidence" to support the court's decision, and the court erred in granting Fletcher declaratory relief because there is no actual controversy between the parties.

We find the Reads have forfeited their claims of error because they have failed to comply with the rules of appellate procedure requiring them to provide an adequate record for appellate review and to show exactly how the trial court committed reversible error. We shall affirm the judgment.

BACKGROUND

In light of the limited record on appeal, we glean the following facts concerning the parties' underlying dispute.

The Reads once owned ranch property on both west and east sides of the Fall River, together with a bridge that "tied" the two sections together. Over time, the bridge failed. When the Reads sold their property on the west side of the river, they neglected to obtain or reserve any right of access allowing access to the public road across the river.

The Reads ultimately initiated this lawsuit against Fletcher (the owner of adjacent property) and others.*fn2 In their second amended complaint to quiet title (the only complaint in the record on appeal), the Reads claimed a nonexclusive prescriptive easement across the road and bridge owned by Fletcher, and they alleged Fletcher has wrongfully interfered with their access to the bridge and roadway that provides the only means of access to their property. The Reads alleged the existence of an actual controversy between the parties and sought a judicial determination of the existence and ownership of the easement.

Fletcher answered the complaint and filed a cross-complaint, in which he also alleged the existence of an actual controversy between the parties by virtue of the Reads' assertion of an easement across his property. He also sought a judicial ...


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