Monday, November 25, 2013

Carr v. Deking case brief

Carr v. Deking case brief summary
765 P.2d 40 (1988)

Plaintiff cotenant appealed a judgment of the Superior Court for Lincoln County (Washington) that granted defendant lessee's motion for summary judgment. The trial court held that the cotenant could not eject the lessee who had leased land from a tenant-lessor in common with the cotenant. The trial court also granted the lessee's motion to strike the cotenant affidavit in which the cotenant alleged the tenant-lessor was mentally incompetent.

The cotenant, tenant-lessor, and lessee had an oral agreement regarding the lease of the tenants in common property. Subsequently, the lessee entered a written lease with the tenant-lessor without the agreement of the cotenant.


  • The court affirmed the summary judgment granted to the lessee on the cotenant's ejectment claim because the tenant-lessor could lease his undivided interest in land without the consent of the cotenant, and the lessee stepped into the tenant-lessor's shoes as a tenant in common for the duration of the lease. 
  • Further, the non-joining cotenant's sole remedy was partition of the land. 
  • The court also affirmed the striking of the cotenant's affidavit in support of his motion for summary judgment because his lay person testimony that the tenant-lessor was mentally incompetent was merely unsupported conclusional statements that could not be considered in a motion for summary judgment. 
  • The trial court's clarification of the relationship between the cotenant and lessee was remanded because the cotenant had the option of choosing, until partition, whether he was bound by the oral lease arrangement or the written lease arrangement.

The court affirmed the judgment that held the cotenant could not eject the lessee of the tenant-lessor. However, the court remanded the case so that the cotenant could elect whether he was bound by an oral lease until partition, in which case the court held the trial court's ruling was affirmed, or whether he was bound by a written lease, in which case the trial court's judgment was so modified.

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