Houden v. ToddAnnotate this Case
This case arose from a dispute between property owners in a subdivision developed by Christopher and Jeffrey Houden. In 2007, twenty-three lot owners (“Defendants”) voted to record an amendment (“second amendment”) to the original covenants for the subdivision that prohibited division of the Houdens’ lot. The Houdens filed a complaint against Defendants seeking injunctive relief to declare the second amendment invalid. During the ensuing litigation, the lot owners passed another amendment (“third amendment”) purporting to revoke the second amendment. In 2010, the Houdens and all Defendants except Wayne Todd entered into a settlement agreement which set forth restated covenants expressly prohibiting amendment to prevent subdivision of the Houdens’ lot. The district court subsequently entered partial summary judgment in favor of the Houdens and against Todd, declaring the second and third amendments null and void and ordering that the Houdens were entitled to attorneys’ fees pursuant to a provision in the original covenants. The Supreme Court (1) affirmed the judgment in the Houdens’ favor, as the restated covenants mooted the underlying merits of the case; and (2) affirmed the district court’s determination that the Houdens’ were entitled to attorney’s fees.