Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Rinker sued over $800,000 water rights sale

John Scherer calls for jury trial


By TONY EVANS
Express Staff Writer

Real estate developer Harry Rinker is being sued for breach of contract over an agreement he made to buy water rights from John Scherer last winter.

The two men worked several years ago in a coordinated attempt to annex their contiguous properties into the city of Bellevue.

In a complaint filed July 2, Rinker is accused of "bad faith," and "malicious and willful breach" of a contract written Dec. 24, 2008, in which Rinker agreed to pay Scherer a $40,000 deposit for water rights sufficient to irrigate 20 acres.

The total value of the water rights that Scherer was selling was $800,000.

According to Scherer's complaint, Rinker agreed to place $40,000 in "earnest money" at Blaine County Title Co. until the water rights were transferred from Scherer's South Valley Estates south of Bellevue to Rinker's adjacent Blechman Ranch.

The Big Wood Canal Co. protested the transfer within a month of the application, but the Idaho Department of Water Resources approved it on April 16, 2009.

Court documents allege that Rinker made an effort to cancel the deal on April 10 and keep the $40,000 deposit. The documents claim that the $40,000 is still in an account at Blaine County Title Co.

Scherer has called for a jury trial to acquire the $40,000, as well as $5,000 in legal fees and damages.

No trial date has been set.

Tony Evans: tevans@mtexpress.com




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