Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Brown v. Oliver case brief

Brown v. Oliver case brief summary
256 P. 1008 (1927)

Defendant seller appealed from a decision of the Mitchell District Court (Kansas), which entered judgment in favor of plaintiff purchaser in the purchaser's replevin action to obtain possession of hotel furniture.

The purchaser bought land on which stood a hotel operated by a tenant. The contract of sale made no mention of the hotel furniture owned by the seller, possession of which was surrendered to the purchaser with the hotel. The seller subsequently removed the furniture from the hotel, and the purchaser filed a replevin action. At trial, the trial court admitted evidence concerning the parties' intent to limit the contract to the single subject of land, as well as evidence that the sale of the hotel included the furniture.


  • On appeal from a judgment in favor of the purchaser, the court held that: 
  • (1) the contract by itself did not conclusively establish whether the parties intended to exclude every subject of sale except land, and, thus, parol evidence on the question of intent was properly received for the information of the trial court; 
  • (2) the trial court's conclusion that the contract was intended to cover but one subject was sound; and 
  • (3) once the trial court determined that the contract was complete, that it related to land only, and that the parol evidence rule did not apply, the trial court was authorized to permit parol proof as to what the sale embraced.

The court affirmed the trial court's judgment.

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