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Barton v. Brockinton

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division I

March 2, 2016

SHARON K. BARTON, ROBERT FRANKLIN BRYANT, GALLIE THOMAS BRYANT, AND FRANCES PAULETTE BRYANT, APPELLANTS
v.
BOBBY AND SHEILA BROCKINTON, APPELLEES

          APPEAL FROM THE FAULKNER COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CV-2012-721. HONORABLE H.G. FOSTER, JUDGE.

         For APPELLANT: ROBERT STEVEN TSCHIEMER.

         For APPELLEE: JAMES GREGORY CRUMPTON; STEFAN KANE MCBRIDE.

          OPINION

Page 821

          BRANDON J. HARRISON, Judge

         Sharon K. Barton, Robert Franklin Bryant, Gallie Thomas Bryant, and Paulette Frances Bryant (collectively the Bryants) filed a complaint for trespass and ejectment against Bobby and Sheila Brockinton in Faulkner County Circuit Court in August 2012. The Bryants and the Brockintons are adjacent landowners.

         The Bryants amended their complaint in October 2012, alleging that the Brockintons had destroyed a fence, trespassed, and constructed three storage units on their land. The Bryants asked for a total of $40,000 in damages and for the court to eject the Brockintons from their property. The Brockintons responded to the Bryants' complaint, denied all allegations of wrongdoing, and raised fourteen affirmative defenses.

          In April 2013, the Brockintons moved for summary judgment. The circuit court held a hearing on the summary-judgment motion in July 2013 and orally denied it. Two months later, the Brockintons filed a counterclaim, alleging that the Bryants' lawsuit " caused a cloud" on their title, making them unable to build duplexes on the property, and that they were entitled to $1,200 in monthly damages. The Bryants responded and argued, among other things, that the Brockintons failed to state sufficient facts upon which relief could be granted, and their counterclaim should be dismissed pursuant to Arkansas Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

         The case was tried in April 2014 over the course of two days. The parties put

Page 822

forth competing surveys and testimony about the proper boundary line between the Brockintons' and Bryants' properties. The court entered a written order on 4 June 2014, stating,

1. This is the Court of proper jurisdiction and venue.
2. This case involved the location of a boundary between the property of the ...

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