Capitol Farmers Market, Inc. v. DelongchampAnnotate this Case
Capitol Farmers Market, Inc. appealed a circuit court order entered in favor of Cindy C. Warren Delongchamp. In 2003, Delongchamp acquired two adjacent parcels of property burdened by restrictive covenants by her predecessor-in-interest. In 2015, Capitol Farmers Market acquired two adjacent parcels of property. The parties agreed that one of the parcels ("the Capitol Farmers Market property") was included within the property similarly burdened by the restrictive covenants (the 1982 Declaration). The Capitol Farmers Market property abutted the Delongchamp property; it was undisputed that the other parcel acquired by Capitol Farmers Market was not subject to the restrictive covenants set out in the 1982 Declaration. In September 2017, Delongchamp filed a complaint in the circuit court that, as amended, sought a declaratory judgment and injunctive relief regarding the Capitol Farmers Market property, alleging that Capitol Farmers Market was planning to "subdivide the Capitol [Farmers Market p]roperty into a high density residential subdivision with proposed lots being substantially less than the required five (5) acre minimum." Delongchamp sought a judgment declaring that the Capitol Farmers Market property was encumbered by the restrictive covenants set out in the 1982 Declaration and that Capitol Farmers Market was required to abide by the restrictive covenants on the Capitol Farmers Market property. Delongchamp also sought an injunction restraining Capitol Farmers Market from "violating" the restrictive covenants set out in the 1982 Declaration "to include, but not limited to, subdividing the Capitol [Farmers Market] property into lots less than five (5) acres." In August 2019, the special master filed a report of his findings and his recommendation in the circuit court. On appeal, the Alabama Supreme Court determined an adjacent property owner, whose property was also burdened by the 1982 covenants, should have been joined as a party to this action. "If Alfa cannot be made a party, the circuit court should consider the reasons Alfa cannot be joined and decide whether the action should proceed in Alfa's absence. In light of the foregoing, we express no opinion concerning the merits of the arguments made by the parties on appeal."