Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Harper v. Paradise case brief

Harper v. Paradise case brief summary
210 S.E.2d 710 (1974)

Appellant remaindermen sought review of a judgment of the Oglethorpe Superior Court (Georgia) that granted a directed verdict in favor of appellee successors, whom the trial court determined held a superior title to the land claimed by the remaindermen.

The remaindermen challenged the trial court's judgment that entered a directed verdict on the basis that the successors had superior title to contested land. The successors claimed uninterrupted title from an intervening mortgagee who purchased the property at a sheriff's sale following the foreclosure of a deed given by a life tenant to secure a defaulted loan.


  • The court noted that prior to the execution of the security deed, the life tenant obtained a prior deed to her for life with remainder in fee simple to her named children, and a subsequent quit claim deed from all but one of the then living heirs of the original grantor. 
  • The remaindermen claimed the land under the original deed that delivered to the life tenant but was lost or misplaced and was not recorded until 35 years later. 
  • The court noted that the successors traced their title to the security deed, but did not trace their title back to the original deed granted in 1921. 
  • The court reversed and held that the purchaser of land from a life tenant could only obtain her interest in the land. 
  • The court held that recitals contained in the quit claim deed indicated the existence of a misplaced or lost prior unrecorded deed.

The court reversed and found that the security deed contained recitals that should have put the successors on notice of the existence of a misplaced or lost prior unrecorded deed.

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