Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Riddle v. Harmon case brief

Riddle v. Harmon case brief summary
162 Cal. Rptr. 530 (1980)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant executrix appealed judgment of the Superior Court of Mendocino County (California) which concluded testator had not severed joint tenancy by a unilateral transfer and therefore granted summary judgment quieting title in property to testator's widower, plaintiff.

CASE FACTS
Testator unilaterally terminated a joint tenancy held with plaintiff spouse by reconveying her joint tenancy interest to herself as tenant in common in order to dispose of her interest in the property by will. The trial court quieted title to plaintiff on summary judgment, and defendant executrix appealed.

DISCUSSION

  • The court held that one joint tenant could unilaterally sever the joint tenancy without the use of an intermediary device. 
  • The court found no reason to perpetuate the archaic rule that one could not transfer property to himself and concluded that a contrary holding would defeat the intention of the grantor.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed summary judgment, holding that one joint tenant could unilaterally sever the joint tenancy without the use of an intermediary device.


Suggested law school study materials

Shop Amazon for the best prices on Law School Course Materials.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search Thousands of Case Briefs and Articles.