Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Orr v. Byers case brief

Orr v. Byers case brief summary
244 Cal. Rptr. 13 (1988)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff administratrix appealed from the judgment of the Superior Court of Orange County (California) that was entered for defendants judgment debtor, realty purchaser, and lenders in an action seeking a declaration that defendants had constructive notice of plaintiff's judgment lien, where the abstract of judgment in favor of plaintiff's deceased husband improperly spelled the name of defendant judgment debtor.

CASE FACTS
A written judgment obtained by the husband of plaintiff administratrix misspelled the name of defendant judgment debtor. The abstract of judgment that was recorded also misspelled his name. When he later sold his real property to defendant realty purchaser, a title search failed to disclose the abstract of judgment, such that the judgment lien was not identified and the proceeds were not used to satisfy the judgment. The husband then sought a declaratory judgment that defendants judgment debtor, realty purchaser, and lenders had constructive notice of the judgment lien under the doctrine of idem sonans because, when pronounced, the misspellings all sounded like the correct name. When the husband died, plaintiff was substituted in his place. Judgment was entered for defendants and plaintiff appealed.

RULES
See idem sonans.

DISCUSSION
  • In affirming, the court ruled that idem sonans did not apply to impart constructive notice of the judgment lien because the proper spelling of defendant judgment debtor's name was a material matter to give record notice. 
  • Idem sonans applied only to issues of identity and would not relieve a judgment creditor of the obligation to file a proper abstract.
CONCLUSION
Judgment for defendants was affirmed because the doctrine of idem sonans did not apply to the abstract of judgment to impart constructive notice of the judgment lien on property sold to defendant realty purchaser; idem sonans applied only to issues of identity and not to matters where the proper spelling of a name was a material matter.

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