BY THE COURT
Under the Kansas Constitution, the Supreme Court shall have
such appellate jurisdiction as provided by law.
K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 26-504 governs appeals in eminent domain
cases and allows appeals directly to the Supreme Court when
the plaintiff has power of eminent domain.
Jurisdiction over appeals from final dispositions in inverse
condemnation actions lies with the Court of Appeals.
Failure to docket an appeal in the proper appellate court is
not, on its own, grounds for dismissing an appeal.
Competent adults may make contracts on their own terms,
provided they are neither illegal nor contrary to public
policy and, in the absence of fraud, mistake, or duress, a
party that has fairly and voluntarily entered into such a
contract is bound thereby, even if it was unwise or
disadvantageous to that party.
an eminent domain proceeding, the duty of the condemning
authority is to make payment for the property that it has
taken, not to account for the diversity of interests in the
Under the undivided fee rule, the condemning authority treats
all the various interest holders in a unit of property as a
single, undivided interest when the compensatory value is
Privity of contract is that connection or relationship
existing between two or more contracting parties. Privity
between the plaintiff and the defendant with respect to the
subject of the lawsuit is essential to the maintenance of any
action on a contract.
from Johnson District Court; James F. Vano, judge.
N. Mulligan, of DRZ Law, LLC, of Leawood, argued the cause,
and Daniel R. Zmijewski and Christopher Dove, of the same
firm, were with him on the brief for appellant.
Timothy P. Orrick, of Orrick & Erskine, LLP, of Overland
Park, argued the cause and was on the brief for appellee.
LLC, appeals directly to this court from a district court
judgment denying it relief in an action based on contractual
relationships but styled as an inverse condemnation
proceeding. GFTLenexa alleges that a condemnation through an
eminent domain action eventually resulted in GFTLenexa losing
a constitutionally protected property interest without fair
compensation. We find the district court's reasoning
persuasive and affirm its judgment. We also clarify
procedural rules for taking appeals in inverse condemnation
facts giving rise to this appeal are complicated but do not
require a lengthy recitation. Oak Park Commons, L.P., (which
is not a party to the litigation) owns commercial property in
Lenexa, Kansas. In 2007, Oak Park Commons entered into a
ground lease agreement with Centres Midwest BFS, LLC (which
is also not a party to this litigation). Under the agreement,
Oak Park agreed to lease the property to Centres Midwest for
a 20-year term.
2008, Centres Midwest entered into a sublease agreement with
Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC (also not a party to this
litigation). The sublease authorized Bridgestone to build and
operate an 8, 000 square foot tire sales center on the
property. On January 20, 2010, Centres Midwest assigned its
rights and obligations under the lease and sublease
agreements to plaintiff GFTLenexa, with the consequence that
GFTLenexa became Bridgestone's landlord. The assignment
was filed with the Johnson County Register of Deeds on
January 28, 2010.
October 31, 2013, the City of Lenexa filed a condemnation
action naming Oak Park, Firestone Auto Care (a part of
Bridgestone Retail Operations, LLC), and numerous other
parties as defendants, but neglecting to include GFTLenexa as
a defendant. The City sought partial condemnation authority
to make improvements to 95th Street Parkway. The City sought
rights for a permanent public utility easement and a
temporary construction easement adjacent to Oak Park's
property. On November 21, 2013, Centres Midwest sent
GFTLenexa by certified mail a notice of the condemnation
district court granted the City's request on November 27,
2013. An appraisal was performed, and, in accordance with the
appraisal report, on April 1, 2014, the district court
ordered the City to pay Oak Park Commons $285, 925 in just
compensation for the City's exercise of eminent domain
power. Neither GFTLenexa nor Bridgestone sought to intervene
to assert an interest in the award, and neither was awarded
12, 2014, Bridgestone filed a declaratory judgment action
against GFTLenexa, claiming it was entitled to a reduced rent
because the property had been partially condemned. The
district court granted GFTLenexa summary judgment under the
theory that GFTLenexa did not receive any proceeds from the
condemnation. The Court of Appeals reversed, holding that the
plain language of the sublease agreement (which GFTLenexa had
assumed in the transfer of rights) required GFTLenexa to
proportionally reduce the tenant's rent. Bridgestone
Retail Operations, LLC v. GFTLenexa, No. 114, 113, 2016
WL 758730 (Kan. App. 2016) (unpublished opinion). GFTLenexa
did not seek review by this court of that decision. On