Friday, November 29, 2013

Zurstrassen v. Stonier case brief

Zurstrassen v. Stonier case brief summary
786 So. 2d 65 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2001)

Appellant challenged the order of the Circuit Court for the Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Indian River County, Florida, granting summary judgment against him in his suit to quiet title, and finding that he ratified his brother's subsequent sale of the property.

The trial court entered summary judgment in a suit to quiet title brought by appellant, finding that he waived the right and/or was estopped from asserting the forgery of his signature on a deed conveying the property to his brother and that he ratified his brother's subsequent sale of the property.


  • The appeals court reversed, holding that material issues of fact remained on both the estoppel and ratification claims. 
  • The court found that the forged deed was void and had no legal effect to transfer appellant's ownership of the property to his brother, thus no valid title could pass from thereon, regardless of appellee's status as a bona fide purchaser. 
  • Further, there were no representations made by appellant to either purchaser. 
  • Moreover there was no evidence that appellant knew that his signature had been forged onto a deed conveying his interest to his brother. 
  • Since he did not know of the fraud, he could not ratify it. 
  • Thus, the court erred in finding any ratification on appellant's part.

The orders of the circuit court are reversed and the case was remanded.

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