I have been waiting several hours for an answer to my legal question. Seems there are over 20 attorneys waiting to answer but no takers.
I want is someone to tell me if there is some law or doctrine that can bar a claim for relief from an intentional injury such as a forged easement. I have to explain the situation sorry.
I won a unanimous Jury decision at trial last year on a lawsuit filed March of 2008. The Defendant was found guilty under ARS 33-420(C) for forging an easement. The purported Grantor testified he never provided the easement, his first name was spelled wrong, not notarized and recorded 4 years out of line of title. So it is proven he is guilty and I was awarded my attorney fees. There are not so many people who are so stupid to forge an easement so there isn't much case law on it. That leaves only the issue of damages, treble damages to be exact! I will get to my question at the end, but must explain the situation somewhat Of course the Defendant's attorney made the Rule 50 motion for JMOL before going to the Jury claiming generally insufficient evidence of damages and "speculation" due to a property sale I made in 2010, no case law or specifics were provided. The Judge denied the motion for directed verdict and the Jury awarded me 25K in damages. After trial the Defendant re-newed the JMOL and the Judge granted the motion leaving me with only 1,000 dollars. The Judge gave no reason for the adverse ruling other than stating failure to prove reasonable damages. I need to get to the question I know, but can't just yet. It was proven in Ct that I am in the business of buying and selling property and that I had a buyer who wanted to buy the property, but for the forged easement. In fact the Buyer was a broker/licensed Realtor who wanted to buy my property over a two year period if the Defendant would only remove the easement. The Realtor testified to prices in the area and eventually gave up and bought some other like property not far from mine. He wanted my property for the special view and location. Lets let that go as it was proven that there was a willing buyer and seller. Now to try to get to the question. What happened after I finally realized I lost my buyer of the that certain 4 acre parcel of property because of the forged easement. I cut the 4 acres in half removing that part of it not burdened by the forged easement and joined it to some adjoining but separate property to make a good building site that was not burdened by the forged easement. I sold that redesigned 4.5 property in 2010. The Defendant got me to admit that I sold some of the property subject to the forged easement in 2010 at trial. there was no mention of what I sold it for but the Jury heard that I had sold some of the property and no further evidence, just "yes". There were two separate parcels (4 acres and 17acres) I purchased separately but adjoining, the 4 acres was burdened by the forged easement the other was not. I took 2 acres out of the burdened property and added 2.5 acres from the 17 acre property to make a new 4.5 acre parcel which I sold in 2010. The Defendant's renewed JMOL claimed that since I sold some of the property burdened by the forged easement (well after we filed the complaint and I lost my original buyer.) along with some acreage from another property that that causes "speculation" and I have no no damages. Also because there is some value to the left over property not sold that that also causes "speculation" In my opinion the time of injury is when the Defendant refused to remove the forged easement. QUESTION My question may be relatively easy to answer unless you know something I don't. How can a Defendant found guilty of knowingly recording a forged easement benefit from or use against a person an act to mitigate the damages which is something I would not have otherwise done but for the injury, (the forgery) after loosing the sale. Is there anything a doctrine or something that would disallow this type of defense as a matter of law. Do you know of any case law or doctrine that would help me to appeal the Judges grant of JMOL. In my opinion the time of injury is, at least, when the Defendant refused to remove the forged easement. I can imagine that forcing me to redesign my property to mitigate my injury can be held against me.
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