Monday, January 6, 2014

Minonk State Bank v. Grassman case brief

Minonk State Bank v. Grassman case brief summary
447 N.E.2d 822 (1983)

Defendant joint property owner sought review of a decision of the Appellate Court for the Fourth District (Illinois), which reversed a judgment in her favor in plaintiff estate administrator's action in which she sought a declaratory judgment that its decedent was the owner of an undivided one-half interest in real estate. The administrator also sought a partition of the real estate and the authority to sell it.

The administrator sought a declaratory judgment that its decedent was the owner of an undivided one-half interest in real estate and that the joint owner was a tenant in common, not a joint tenant with right of survivorship. The administrator sought partition of, and authority to sell, the contested real estate.

The circuit court entered judgment which declared that the joint owner was the sole surviving joint tenant. The appellate court reversed and remanded.

  • On further appeal, the court affirmed. 
  • The decedent and the joint owner originally held the property as joint tenants. 
  • The joint owner then recorded a deed that conveyed the land from herself as grantor to herself as grantee. 
  • The court held that livery of seisin was no longer necessary for the conveyance of real property and that a writing was now sufficient. 
  • Whatever problem a conveyance to oneself presented to the common law feoffment ceremony, it presented no problem to the present modern system. 
  • The joint owner severed the joint tenancy by conveying the property to herself. 
  • The record did not show that either party gave consideration for the creation of the joint tenancy or relied, to their detriment, on its continued existence.
The court affirmed the decision of the lower court, which reversed a judgment for the joint property owner in the declaratory judgment and partition action.

See also: Minonk State Bank v. Grassman full case on Google Scholar

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