Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Ink v. City of Canton case brief

Ink v. City of Canton case brief summary
212 N.E.2d 574 (1965)

Plaintiff grantors sought review of the decision of the Court of Appeals for Stark County (Ohio), which affirmed a trial court's decision awarding condemnation proceeds to defendant city upon the state's eminent domain taking of land that plaintiffs had conveyed to defendant with specific restrictions for its use.

After plaintiff grantors conveyed a tract of land by deed to defendant city for the express purpose of using the land as a city park, defendant improved and developed the land as a public park in accordance with the deeds. When the state instituted eminent domain proceedings to appropriate much of the park land, a trial court awarded the proceeds from the condemnation to defendant, holding that the state's appropriation did not constitute a breach by defendant of the restrictive deeds or a forfeiture of the remainder of the grant. The court of appeals affirmed.


  • On appeal, the court reversed and held that, by accepting the grant, defendant undertook a fiduciary obligation to use the property only for park purposes. 
  • Thus, defendant was required to hold any interests in the property not taken from it subject to the fiduciary obligations imposed upon it by the two deeds conveying that property to it. 
  • In addition, whatever money defendant received in the eminent domain proceedings could only be held by defendant so long as it proposed to use, could reasonably use, and did use that money for park purposes, and any remaining money should have reverted to plaintiffs.

The court reversed the decision of the appellate court affirming the trial court's order awarding condemnation proceeds to defendant city because defendant was a fiduciary with respect to implementation of plaintiff grantors' grant of park land. Thus, any amount received in the condemnation proceeding that was not required by defendant for continued park purposes reverted to plaintiffs.

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