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The Next Step v. Redmon

Supreme Court of North Dakota

May 26, 2016

The Next Step, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
Jamie Redmon, Defendant and Appellee

          Appeal from the District Court of Ward County, North Central Judicial District, the Honorable Gary H. Lee, Judge.

         Benjamin C. Pulkrabek, Mandan, ND, for plaintiff and appellant.

         Tom P. Slorby, ND, for defendant and appellee.

         Carol Ronning Kapsner, Lisa Fair McEvers, Daniel J. Crothers, Dale V. Sandstrom, Gerald W. VandeWalle, C.J.

          OPINION

Page 72

         Carol Ronning Kapsner, Justice.

          [¶1] The Next Step appeals from a judgment entered after the district court dismissed its quiet title action. We affirm, concluding unincorporated associations are incapable of holding title to real property.

         I

          [¶2] The Next Step, an unincorporated association, and Jamie Redmon, an individual, both claim title to residential real property located in Minot. Both parties claim ownership through different quitclaim deeds they allege were executed by the prior owner of the property. The relevant conveyances follow:

Quitclaim deed by Orlin Swensrud to Holly Gates. Recorded in 1999.
Quitclaim deed by Holly Gates to Daniel Foster. Recorded in 2008.
Quitclaim deed by Daniel Foster to The Next Step. Dated 2009. Recorded in 2014.
Quitclaim deed by Daniel Foster to Jamie Redmon. Dated and recorded in 2013.

         Redmon alleged the quitclaim deed to The Next Step was forged. Holly Gates, a co-founder of The Next Step, asserted it was not. The Next Step moved for summary judgment, and Redmon filed a response. The district court did not immediately rule on the motion; it instructed the parties to provide supplemental briefing on the issue of whether unincorporated associations are capable of holding title to real property in North Dakota. After the parties provided their supplemental briefs, the court entered an order dismissing the ...


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