The Gables and Villas at River Oaks Homeowners Association, Appellee,
Castlewood Builders, LLC, Appellant.
Appeal of Interlocutory Order Third District, Salt Lake The
Honorable Su Chon No. 100903697
Richard Vial, Michael J. Vial, Edward W. McBride, Salt Lake
City, for appellee
J. Mahler, Patrick C. Burt, Chelsey E. Phippen, Salt Lake
City, for appellant
Associate Chief Justice Lee authored the opinion of the
Court, in which Chief Justice Durrant, Justice Himonas,
Justice Pearce, and Justice Petersen joined.
Associate Chief Justice
A homeowners association sued the general contractor on a
construction project many years after filing suit against
other defendants. After several procedural twists and turns,
the homeowners association finally filed a viable amended
complaint that named the general contractor. But by that time
the statute of repose had run on six buildings in the
The general contractor moved for summary judgment, asserting
that the homeowners association's claims were time-
barred. The district court disagreed and denied the motion.
The general contractor then filed this interlocutory appeal.
We reverse. We hold that an action is commenced under our law
not by the filing of a motion for leave to amend but by the
filing of a complaint. And we conclude that the homeowners
association's claims are time-barred because no viable
complaint was filed within the repose period and the
complaint did not relate back to a timely pleading.
Castlewood Builders, LLC was the general contractor on the
River Oaks project, a development consisting of eleven
buildings in Sandy, Utah. The project's developers were
Castlewood River Oaks, LLC; Castlewood Development, LLC; and
Castlewood Development, Inc. (collectively, the Developers).
The six buildings at issue here were completed in 2006 and
The HO A for the project, The Gables and Villas at River Oaks
Homeowners Association (the Association), later discovered
alleged construction defects with the completed buildings. So
the Association sued the Developers, asserting claims arising
out of defective construction and breach of fiduciary duty.
The Developers in turn filed a third-party suit against
various subcontractors. At the time, the Association and the
subcontractors were unaware of Castlewood Builders'
In March 2012, the Association and the subcontractors
realized that Castlewood Builders had acted as the general
contractor on the project. The Association was not in privity
with Castlewood Builders, however, so it asked the Developers
to bring a third-party suit against Castlewood (despite the
fact that the Developers had some relation to
Castlewood). The Developers agreed. They filed a
motion for leave to amend their third-party complaint on May
2, 2012. The district court granted that motion on December
13, 2012. Once the motion was granted, the Developers
assigned their claims against Castlewood Builders to the
Association then filed an amended complaint on December 17,
2012, adding Castlewood Builders as a defendant.
On December 21, 2012, Castlewood Builders accepted service of
the Association's amended complaint. But the court struck
that complaint because it was the Developers - not the
Association-who had obtained leave to amend. The Association
then filed its own motion for leave to amend on July 26,
2013. The court granted that motion on ...