Allemong v. Frendzel

In Allemong v. Frendzel, 178 W. Va. 601, 363 S.E.2d 487 (1987), it was argued that the plaintiffs were not parties to the deed that imposed the restrictive covenant. Therefore, it was contended that the plaintiffs had no standing to enforce the covenant. The Court disagreed and affirmed the injunction. In so doing, the following principle of law was enunciated in syllabus point 1 of Allemong: "A valid restrictive covenant may be enforced by one other than a party to the restrictive covenant provided that the parties to the deed in which the restrictive covenant originated intended that the restriction should benefit the land of the person claiming enforcement." Allemong grants standing to a land owner to enforce a restrictive covenant, even though he or she was not a party to the restrictive covenant, if it can be established that the covenant makers intended the covenant to benefit the non-covenant maker's land. The opinion in Allemong acknowledged, and the Court held that the question of who is entitled to the benefit of a restrictive covenant and, therefore, has standing to enforce the covenant "is ultimately a question of fact." Allemong, 178 W. Va. at 604, 363 S.E.2d at 490. The Court held further that the intent of a covenant maker as to who the covenant is intended to benefit, "'may be ascertained from the language of the conveyances alone or from that language together with other evidence of intent.'" Id.