Unpublished Disposition, 877 F.2d 64 (9th Cir. 1989)

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U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit - 877 F.2d 64 (9th Cir. 1989)

No. 87-4424.

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.

Submitted June 9, 1989.* Decided June 13, 1989.

Harold L. Ryan, District Judge, Presiding.

Before GOODWIN, WRIGHT and WILLIAM A. NORRIS, Circuit Judges.


The issue in this case is whether, under the Quiet Title Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2409a(f), Josephine Ramsey's predecessors in title "knew or should have known" of the claim of the United States to the disputed property twelve years before this action was commenced in 1985. We apply a test of reasonableness to the question whether someone "should have known" that the government was asserting an adverse interest in property. State of California v. Yuba Goldfields, Inc., 752 F.2d 393, 396 (9th Cir. 1985).

The undisputed facts show that the United States had recorded a deed with the Nez Perce County Recorder indicating the United States as holding title to the 54-acre parcel; that the parcel has been operated by LOID as an irrigation district for many years, with the assistance of the United States from 1948 to 1951; and that the probate order sent to Mazie Ramsey in 1972 expressly excluded the parcel from the trust estate in allotment 267.

These facts, combined, gave notice to Josephine Ramsey's predecessors that the United States had an adverse claim to the 54-acre parcel. Under Idaho law, a recorded instrument gives effective notice to all persons who acquire an interest in the property after the recording. Lockhart v. B.F.K., Ltd., 691 P.2d 1248, 1251 (Idaho App.1984). The United States' deed, recorded in 1948, gave notice of the government's interest to Mazie Ramsey, who inherited the trust estate in 1971. In addition, the 1972 probate order, which explicitly excluded the disputed parcel from the trust estate, signaled to Mazie Ramsey that she owned no interest in the parcel. Finally, LOID's continuous presence on the disputed parcel was a clear indication to Mazie and her predecessors of an adverse claim to the parcel. There is no allegation that the government prevented Josephine's predecessors from discovering the above facts. By 1972 at the very latest, Mazie Ramsey should have known of her cause of action against the government. Because Josephine Ramsey brought this action 13 years later in 1985, the action is barred under the Quiet Title Act. See United States v. Mottaz, 476 U.S. 834 (1986); Grosz v. Andrus, 556 F.2d 972 (9th Cir. 1977).

The judgment is AFFIRMED.


The panel unanimously finds this case suitable for decision without oral argument. Fed. R. App. P. 34(a) and Ninth Circuit Rule 34-4


This disposition is not appropriate for publication and may not be cited to or by the courts of this circuit except as provided by 9th Circuit Rule 36-3