In contrast to the covenant of seisin, the covenant of warranty or quiet enjoyment is prospective in nature and is breached only when there is an actual or constructive eviction of the covenantee by the paramount titleholder.
Plaintiffs granted a coal option to a company for the coal rights on a tract of land. Unfortunately, plaintiffs later discovered that they owned only a one-third interest in the subsurface coal rights. A prior grantor had reserved a two-thirds interest in the mineral rights on the property. Thus, plaintiffs instituted action against the executor of the estate (defendants) based on an alleged breach of the covenant of seisin in their warranty deed. The trial court found that although defendants breached the covenant of seisin, plaintiff's suit was barred by the statute of limitations, the plaintiff's cause of action on the covenant of quiet enjoyment was not barred. On appeal, however, the Appellate Court reversed, finding plaintiff's action for breach of the covenant of seisin was barred by the 10 year statute of limitations. The case was appealed to the Supreme Court of Illinois.
Can plaintiffs recover from a breach of the covenants of seisin or quiet enjoyment?
The Court found that the breach of the covenant of seisin was barred by the 10 year statute of limitations. Furthermore, the court also found plaintiffs could not recover from a breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment because there was no constructive eviction and therefore no breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment since there was no interference with plaintiff's right of possession.