Friday, March 23, 2012

Fitzgerald v. Modoc County case brief

Fitzgerald v. Modoc County, Supreme Ct of CA, 1913

FACTS
P made deed to county of Modoc which conveyed land to be used as school (“as and for a county high school grounds”) and was breached by conveying land to the D. P claims it was a FSSCS and reverted back to the P.

HOLDING
Court uses Rules of Construction, for the D because court held that without an expressed right of re-entry or power of termination, the deed would not be held as creating a defeasible estate.

NOTES
Defeasible estates are not favorable, language really matters and language here doesn’t not create a forfeiture
Whatever the intent may have been, must have been adequately expressed in the deed itself before legal action is taken
Deed only contained a hope or at very best a covenant (might be able to get damages)
Court concludes that no part of the deed is legally enforceable, essentially that there is no covenant and because the language is merely precatory it is not enforceable in a court of law.

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