Lobato v. Taylor

In Lobato v. Taylor , 70 P.3d 1152, 1161-65 (Colo. 2003), hundreds of plaintiffs successfully asserted their usufructuary rights decades after a 1960 Torrens decree was issued. Id. at 1167. The court reasoned that Taylor, the initial registrant, was on notice of those rights for the following reasons: (1) he possessed a 1863 deed putting him on notice that some county residents had usufructuary rights; (2) because he did not know which particular landowners had rights, he should have personally notified all of them; (3) he could have obtained the addresses of all two thousand landowners by researching the public tax rolls. Id. at 1161-66. Lobato demonstrates that in Colorado at least, more than a casual effort in finding adverse claimants is needed for a "diligent inquiry." See 21 GCA 29105. The court found that some of the plaintiffs should have been notified personally and therefore had been denied due process. Id. at 1160-61. Two dissenting justices thought that because the ninety day statute of limitations for actions to overturn land registration decrees had long since passed, damages were now the plaintiffs' only remedy. Id. at 1175 (Kourlis, J., dissenting).