Monday, November 25, 2013

Northwest Real Estate Co. v. Serio case brief

Northwest Real Estate Co. v. Serio case brief summary
144 A. 245 (Md. 1929)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant grantor appealed a decree from the Circuit Court of Baltimore City (Maryland) that declared a covenant in a deed that required the grantor's consent to a sale was void, and that directed the grantor and vendors to specifically perform on a contract of sale of property upon the payment by plaintiff purchasers of the purchase money.

CASE FACTS
The covenant in the deed that conveyed real property to the vendors in fee simple restricted the vendors' right to sell their property to the grantor's reservation of the right to determine the suitability of any potential purchaser.

DISCUSSION

  • The court affirmed the decree that held the covenant was void, and that ordered specific performance of the contract of sale between the vendors and the purchasers. 
  • The court held that the covenant was an invalid restraint on alienation because on the one hand it gave the vendors a fee simple estate, and on the other hand restrained the vendors' power to sell as fee simple estate owners. 
  • Furthermore the fact that the covenant had limited duration was irrelevant.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the decree that declared a covenant in a deed was void as an invalid restraint on alienation.

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