Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Newman v. Bost case brief

Newman v. Bost case brief summary
29 S.E. 848 (1898)

The defendant administrator appealed the decision from the trial court of North Carolina, which entered judgment for (P) litigant in an action to recover $3,000 that the administrator had collected on an intestate's insurance policy; $300, which was the value of a piano upon which the administrator collected that amount of insurance money; $200, being the value of household property; as well as $45, being the price for which the litigant's bedroom furniture sold.

The litigant had lived with the intestate.
The litigant had alleged that the intestate, while he was last sick and confined to his bed, gave her all the furniture and other property in his dwelling-house as a gift causa mortis.
The intestate's nurse was present at the time the intestate asked the litigant to get his private keys.
The intestate handed the keys to the litigant and told her to take and keep them, and that he desired her to have them as well as everything in the house.
Inside a bureau that was locked in the intestate's room was the life insurance policy.

  • The court ordered a new trial, ruling that: 
  • (1) where the insurance policy was capable of actual manual delivery, the court was of the opinion that the title of the insurance policy did not pass to the litigant, but remained the property of the intestate; 
  • (2) the bureau as well as any other item of furniture that was locked or unlocked by the keys passed to the litigant.  The delivery of the keys constituted constructive delivery where manual delivery impossible;
  • (3) the other articles of furniture in the household did not pass to the litigant; and 
  • (4) upon a new trial the litigant was entitled to show either actual or constructive delivery of the piano that was equivalent to actual manual delivery.
The court was remanded for a new trial.

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