RONNIE MCCORD, CLINT MCCORD, MCCORD FARMS, LLC, AND DITCH 56 FARMS, LLC APPELLANTS
STANLEY FOSTER, JUDY FOSTER, LINDA ALDEN, AND DANNY BRANDON APPELLEES
FROM THE CRAIGHEAD COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT
[NO. 16LCV-2012-0001] HONORABLE LEE FERGUS, JUDGE
& Worsham PLC, by: Donn Mixon, for appellants Ronnie
McCord, Clint McCord, and McCord Farms, LLC.
Office of Wendell L. Hoskins II, by: Wendell L. Hoskins II
and Mary K. Walker, for appellant Ditch 56 Farms, LLC.
Alford, Johnson & Conley, PLLC, by: Christopher B.
Conley, for appellees Linda Alden and Danny Brandon.
Waddell, Cole & Jones, PLLC, by: Ralph W. Waddell and
Justin E. Parkey, for appellees Stanley E. Foster and Judy
W. GRUBER, Judge
case involves two separate appeals concerning the Craighead
County Circuit Court's granting of summary judgment in
favor of appellees Judy and Stanley Foster that ordered the
specific performance of a contract where the Fosters were to
purchase certain real property from appellees Linda Alden and
Danny Brandon. Ronnie McCord, Clint McCord, and McCord
Farms, LLC (collectively, the McCord defendants), appeal
because they had the property under lease and the circuit
court's grant of summary judgment extinguished their
right of prior refusal to purchase the land. Ditch 56 Farms,
LLC, appeals from the circuit court's denial of its
motion to intervene because it had a contract to purchase the
property from the McCord defendants. We reverse the summary
judgment and the denial of the motion to intervene and remand
for further proceedings in conformity with this opinion.
2008, Sylvester Brandon leased 160 acres of farmland to
Ronnie and Clint McCord for ten years. The lease provided
that it was to be binding on the parties and their heirs,
personal representatives, and assigns. The McCords could not
assign or sublease any part of the premises without
Brandon's prior written approval. If Brandon were to sell
the property, it was to be subject to the lease. The lease
also included a provision for a right of first refusal for
Sylvester's children, Linda Alden and Danny Brandon, if
Sylvester decided to sell the property during the term of the
lease. If neither Alden nor Danny Brandon wanted to buy the
property, a right of second refusal was given to the McCords.
Brandon died in April 2010, having never offered to sell the
land. His will left one tract of eighty acres to Brandon and
another eighty acres to Alden, and his estate executed
distribution deeds to them. The McCords continued to farm the
land in accordance with their lease.
November 2011, the Fosters contracted to purchase all 160
acres from Danny Brandon for $528, 000. Alden did not sign
the contract but both Brandon and Alden cashed earnest-money
checks from the Fosters. Three weeks later, Brandon and Alden
signed separate but similar contracts honoring the
McCords' right of refusal at the same price as offered by
the Fosters. The next day, the McCords executed an offer and
sale contract whereby they would convey the property to Ditch
56 Farms for the same price offered by the
Fosters filed suit seeking a preliminary injunction and
specific performance of the sales contract or, in the
alternative, damages for breach of contract against Brandon
and Alden. The Fosters sought declaratory relief as to the
validity of Ronnie and Clint McCord's right of refusal
and their contract to purchase the property from Brandon and
circuit court granted the Fosters' request for an ex
parte temporary restraining order. The McCord defendants,
Brandon, and Alden were enjoined and restrained from closing
the sale for the purchase of the property until further
orders of the court. The parties later entered into a consent
injunction whereby all parties were ...