Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Bailey v. Ewing case brief

Bailey v. Ewing case brief summary
671 P.2d 1099 (1983)

Appellant land purchaser challenged the decision of the District Court of the Third Judicial District of the State of Idaho, which entered judgment for appellees, other purchaser and seller, in the other purchaser's action to quiet title and the land purchaser's third-party complaint against the seller.


  • The court concluded that the issue was whether the trial court erred in ruling that any mistake concerning the location of the boundary line was a unilateral mistake by the land purchaser. 
  • The court held that a mutual mistake occurred when both parties, at the time of contracting, shared a misconception about a basic assumption or vital fact upon which they based their bargain. 
  • The court held that in this case it was clear that, at the time of the purchase, neither the land purchaser nor the seller knew where the boundary line was. 
  • The court held that both parties assumed a risk of uncertainty as to the line. 
  • The court reasoned that the land purchaser had no right to rely upon the uncertain belief of the seller that the lilac bushes represented the boundary line. 
  • Nevertheless, the court held that it was equally clear that neither party consciously assumed a risk that the line would run beneath the eaves of the house. 
  • The court reversed the judgment and remanded the action, holding that the mutual mistake which occurred was beyond the scope of the assumed risk. 
  • Therefore, the court held that the doctrine of "conscious ignorance" was not a bar to relief for the land purchaser.

In the other purchaser's action to quiet title to real property, the court reversed and remanded the judgment against the land purchaser. The court further reversed and remanded the judgment for the seller in the land purchaser's third-party complaint.

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