Jevne brought this action to assert the rights of her
homeowners' association, even though that group did not
authorize her to do so. Concluding that she lacked standing
to pursue this case under these facts, we affirm, although on
different grounds, the trial court's decision to dismiss
the case on summary judgment.
litigation centers on residential developments at Snoqualmie
Pass. Ms. Jevne is a resident of one such development, a
planned unit development known as The Village at the Summit.
Respondent is The Pass LLC, developer of a community adjacent
to The Village. At issue is a surface water retention pond,
allegedly belonging to the homeowners association (HOA) of
The Village, but used by both The Village and The Pass.
The Village was platted in 1990 by Snoqualmie Summit Inn,
Inc. (Snoqualmie), the property that Ms. Jevne ultimately
acquired was listed as Lot 31. Across the street from Lot 31
is Tract A, the retention pond. Tract E on that plat map, a
portion of The Village, was reserved for subsequent
development. An easement granted Tract E the right to drain
its surface water into Tract A. Snoqualmie subsequently sold
Tract E to The Pass, which then began developing the
property. Whether or not there are any individual property
owners of lots within Tract E, and whether they or The Pass
are also members of the HOA, is not clear in our
2013, operating with the permission of Snoqualmie, The Pass
removed three trees from Tract A, ran a drain pipe into that
lot, and made other efforts to improve the tract's
ability to hold surface water. In the fall of 2014, Ms. Jevne
purchased Lot 31 and became a member of the HOA. The
following year, she filed the current action in her own name
against The Pass LLC and its manager.
complaint alleged that the HOA owned Tract A and stated
claims for damages and injunctive relief resulting from
trespass, water drainage trespass, nuisance, and
overburdening an easement. The complaint contained no
allegations that Ms. Jevne had been authorized to sue on
behalf of the HOA or that she had requested permission of the
HOA to act. The Pass answered the complaint and alleged that
Snoqualmie owned Tract A and that it had acted with
permission of Snoqualmie. It also asserted that Ms. Jevne
lacked standing to pursue the action.
Pass subsequently brought a motion to dismiss pursuant to CR
12(b)(6), alleging that Ms. Jevne lacked standing for
several reasons, including (1) neither Ms. Jevne nor the HOA
owned Tract A, (2) Ms. Jevne did not allege any damage to her
own property, and (3) Ms. Jevne acquired her land after the
actions she complained about. Clerk's Papers (CP) at 231,
234. In response, Ms. Jevne claimed that Tract A had been
conveyed to the HOA by the 1990 plat documents and that as a
member of the HOA, she had a contingent interest in the
property that gave her standing to act. CP at 18-27.
that there were unresolved factual questions that needed to
be determined, the trial court denied the motion to dismiss
and a subsequent motion for reconsideration. Several months
later, respondents brought a motion for summary judgment on
several theories. The trial court ultimately granted that
motion and dismissed plaintiff's case.
Jevne then appealed to this court from the summary judgment
ruling. The Pass cross appealed from the denial of its motion
to dismiss for lack of standing. The parties presented oral
argument on the case.
sole issue we address is the dispositive matter of standing
asserted in the cross appeal. Ms. Jevne failed to establish
her authority to bring this suit.
action shall be prosecuted in the name of the real party in
interest." CR 17(a). The purpose of this rule is to
"'protect the defendant against a subsequent action
by the party actually entitled to recover, and to insure
generally that the judgment will have its proper effect as
res judicata.'" Beal v. City of Seattle,
134 Wn.2d 769, 777, 954 P.2d 237 (1998) (quoting 3A James Wm.
Moore, Moore's Federal Practice ¶ 17.01 (Daniel
R. Coquillette et al. eds., 2d ed. 1996)).
issue of standing is reviewed de novo by appellate courts.
Knight v. City of Yelm, 173 Wn.2d 325, 336, 267 P.3d
973 (2011). Standing is a jurisdictional concern that can be
presented for the first time on appeal. RAP 2.5(a)(1);
Int'l Ass'n of Firefighters, Local 1789
v. Spokane Airports, 146 Wn.2d 207, 212-13 n.3, 45 P.3d
186 (2002). An appellate court can even raise the issue sua
sponte. In re Recall of ...