Monday, April 29, 2013

City of Klamath Falls v. Bell case brief

City of Klamath Falls v. Bell case brief summary
490 P.2d 515

CASE SYNOPSIS: Appellants sought review of a declaratory judgment which determined title was vested in respondents, in the Circuit Court, Klamath County (Oregon).

FACTS: Appellants were heirs of a shareholder of a dissolved corporation that granted property to the city for a library. The deed provided the grant was for so long as the condition of library use was complied with. The respondent city no longer used the property as a library.

The court found the grant was a fee simple determinable that terminated automatically upon breach of condition.

The court further found the deed created a gift over to grant an executory interest. The court found the rule of perpetuity applied to executory interests, thus the gift over was invalid. The court determined the grantor corporation nonetheless retained a possibility of reverter. The court concluded the attempt to transfer a possibility of reverter did not destroy it. The court finally found the possibility of reverter was descendible and therefore, appellants as the corporation's heirs acquired all property rights when conveyed to them.

CONCLUSION: The court reversed judgment determining title vested in respondents and found title was acquired by appellants because the rule of perpetuities did not apply to possibility of reverters and conveyance of property to appellants did not destroy reverter.

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