Kase v. French case brief summary
325 N.W.2d 678 (1982)
Appellant administrator sought review
of a decision of the Circuit Court of the Seventh Judicial Circuit,
Pennington County (South Dakota), which entered judgment for appellee
buyers in the administrator's action to vacate a contract for deed
and to recover various cash transfers the buyers allegedly obtained
from the administrator's decedent through undue influence.
FACTS Before her death, the decedent, an
elderly widow, became friends with the buyers. She conveyed her home
to them at a low price, with payments to be made at an interest rate
of one percent. After her death, the administrator filed an action
alleging that the deed, and other cash transfers to the buyers, had
been obtained through undue influence. The trial court entered
judgment for the buyers.
On appeal, the court affirmed.
held that a confidential relationship existed between the parties due
to the contacts between the parties and the buyers' promise to take
care of the decedent and thus that the buyers had a duty to refrain
from taking advantage of their dominant position.
The court further
held, however, that the buyers met their burden to go forward with
evidence that the sale of the home had been free from undue
The court noted that the decedent had been healthy and
mentally alert, that she had lived in the home rent-free for over a
year, that the buyers had undertaken some financial responsibility
for the decedent after she entered a nursing home, and that the
decedent had received independent legal advice before entering into
The court affirmed the judgment. Suggested law school study materials
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