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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:In this original proceeding, the court determines whether the trial court abused its discretion in denying the relators’ motion to cancel a lis pendens. The relators argue the real parties in interest failed to establish an adequate nexus between their claims and the property in question. The real parties in interest contend that their suit seeks to impose a constructive trust on the subject property or to obtain specific performance of a promise to construct community infrastructure and amenities, and therefore is a suit for the establishment of an interest in real property for which lis pendens is statutorily authorized. The underlying litigation involves tort and contract claims filed by 24 purchasers of property in a residential subdivision called Thousand Oaks. Relators, Michael Fitzmaurice, 1488 Land Development Inc., Live Oak Land Development Ltd., L.O. Development Inc., Dorothy Fitzmaurice, Sherry Fitzmaurice, B.J. Farley and L. Don Knight, are defendants in the action. The petition alleges that Michael Fitzmaurice controls 1488 Land Development Inc., Live Oak Land Development Ltd., and L.O. Development Inc., that he operates them as a unitary corporate arrangement, and that they are alter egos. 1488 Land Development Inc. is the developer of Thousand Oaks. Live Oak Land Development Ltd. bought the approximately 700 acre site in 1997, and now owns property adjacent to the subdivision. Michael Fitzmaurice is the President and Director of the Thousand Oaks Property Owners Association. Dorothy Fitzmaurice, Sherry Fitzmaurice, B.J. Farley and L. Don Knight are also directors of the property owners’ association. The TOPOA is a defendant, but it is not named in the lis pendens and is not one of the relators. On Aug. 8, 2003, one of the plaintiffs, Robert English, filed a notice of lis pendens that the action filed “seeks to enforce contractual obligations which constitute a charge or encumbrance against . . . [a]ll land owned” by the relators within an attached metes and bounds description covering over 700 acres. HOLDING:The petition for mandamus is conditionally granted. Those cases in which lis pendens has been disallowed are those in which the subject property is collateral to the litigation. This is the case here. The pleading of the real parties in interest did not identify any specific property, by lot and block within the Thousand Oaks subdivision, where they allege the represented amenities were to be built, yet the lis pendens encompasses all the unsold lots within the subdivision, plus adjacent property outside the subdivision. No adequate nexus presently exists between the claims of the real parties in interest and the property affected. Consequently, the trial judge should have granted relator’s motion to cancel the lis pendens. OPINION:Burgess, J.; McKeithen, C.J., Burgess and Gaultney, JJ. DISSENT:McKeithen, C.J. “I respectfully dissent. As the majority notes, those cases in which lis pendens has been disallowed are those in which the subject property is collateral to the litigation. In this case, the lis pendens serves notice of the litigation on potential purchasers of property within the Thousand Oaks subdivision that is owned by Michael Fitzmaurice or any of his alleged alter egos, including 1488 Land Development, Inc., and the other directors of the TOPOA who are alleged to have breached their fiduciary duty by diverting the association’s funds to the defendants. The interest asserted in the pleadings is the plaintiffs’ right to “own, maintain and operate” the subject property “for the benefit of the homeowners in Thousand Oaks.” Because this alleged right to “own, maintain and operate” has a direct effect on the potential use of the subject property, I believe a sufficient nexus exists. For that reason, I would deny the writ.”

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