Facts: CS (D) had interest in an irrigation pipe based on both an “after acquired
property” clause in 1969 security interest in farm and ranch equipment that was perfected
and property continued, and a 1985 security interest in the pipe that attached, but does not
appear to have been perfected. FB (P) interest in the pipe arises from language in a real
estate mortgage (1978 and then 1982) covering the pipe as a fixture to the real estate it
irrigated
These types of pipes are used to regulate the water flow onto a field. The pipe becomes
connected to riser pipes that are permanently attached to water lines buried underground.
However, it is made to be lightweight and portable for use on more than one field.
Issue: Has the gated irrigation system become a fixture by virtue of its installation and
use?
Holding: Affirmed. The pipes belong to CS.
Rationale:
– The definition of a fixture under the common law is based on a three prong test: 1.
real or constructive annexation of the article to the realty; 2. Appropriation or
adaptation to the use or purpose of that part of the realty with which it is
connected; 3. The intention of the party making the annexation to make the article
a permanent accession to the land
– The prong that jurisdictions place the most emphasis on is the intent of the land
owners annexation. The intention does not refer to the subjective state of mind,
rather it is the objective intention the law can infer an ordinary reasonable person
to have based on the facts and circumstances in the record.
– A gated pipe has never undergone a real annexation to the irrigated land. It was
attached to the riser pipes only intermittently during the irrigation system.
Constructive annexation may be found where objects comprise a necessary,
integral or working part of some other object which is attached. An example is a
house key. The pipe does not share the same type of relationship to the property
as the key does to the house. It is possible to irrigate the land without the pipe by
some other means, and whereas a house key has little value on its own, this pipe
has considerable value.
– Chattels that give added value to realty does not necessarily mean that the chattel
has been adapted to become a permanent fixture. (Farm animals on a farm).