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Enforcement of Subdivision Restrictive Covenants

Heaven’s Gate Ministries International, Inc. v. Nejad, et al., [Ms. 2190298, Dec. 18, 2020], ___ So. 3d ___ (Ala. Civ. App. 2020). The court (Hanson, J.; Thompson, P.J., and Moore and Donaldson, JJ., concur; Edwards, J., concurs in the result) reverses the Madison Circuit Court’s order denying enforcement of restrictive covenants. The Plaintiffs alleged that Defendants MDM and Mohammand Nejad were operating junkyards in the subdivision. While recognizing that restrictive covenants are disfavored, the court holds “[s]ection 10(B) explicitly prohibits the owners of lots within the subdivision from using their properties as a salvage yard, junkyard, or as any form of a storage facility for any damaged or wrecked motor vehicles. It is undisputed that damaged or wrecked motor vehicles have been stored on both MDM’s and Nejad’s properties. Moreover, although the covenant does not explicitly define the term ‘junkyard,’ that term is commonly understood as a location used for the storage of wrecked and inoperable vehicles.” Ms. *13.

The court explains that “because MDM had constructive notice of §10(B), a balancing-of- the-equities or relative-hardship analysis is not warranted. Accordingly, we conclude that the trial court erred in denying Heaven’s Gate’s request for an injunction to prohibit Nejad and MDM from storing wrecked vehicles on their respective lots.” Ms *17.

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