October 10, 2012

Black v. Allen, Laurel, 1899


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52 S.W. 809; 1899 Ky. LEXIS 324; 21 Ky. L. Rptr. 620

September 27, 1899, Decided


Appeal from circuit court, Laurel county.

Action by Emaline Allen against James R. Black to quiet title. Judgment for plaintiff, and defendant appeals.


COUNSEL: Hazelwood & Parker, for appellant.

P. F. Stallings, H. C. Eversole, Brown & Sparks, and W. S. Pryor, for appellee.




 [*809]  WHITE, J. John Allen died in Laurel county in 1893, intestate, and the owner of a tract of land. The appellee, Emaline Allen, who claimed to be his wife, and a son, Isaac Allen, survived him. After the death of John Allen, Isaac Allen and appellee, by joint deed, sold and conveyed one half of the land owned by John Allen at his death to Samuel Black. The other half, and the one containing the improvements, was sold by Isaac Allen by title bond to the appellant, James R. Black. This title bond agrees that, upon the payment of the purchase price ($400), Isaac Allen would make a deed of general warranty, "subject to the claim of Emaline Allen." This bond for title is dated in October, 1893. After this purchase by appellant, lie rented the land for some two years or more from appellee, and occupied the house with her. In 1890, a dispute having arisen between appellant and appellee as to the extent of appellant's  [**2] purchase and right in the land, by his refusing to longer pay rent, Isaac Allen made to appellee a deed to a life estate in the land. This action was then brought by appellee to quiet her title and right of possession to a life estate in the one-half sold to appellant. Appellant's defense to that action is that appellee was never the wife of John Allen, and had no legal right in the land, and that the deed to her by Isaac Allen was champertous and void, and that, in any event, she is estopped to claim any right in the land, except the right to occupy the house jointly with appellant, by reason of the facts, as alleged, that she induced the appellant to purchase the land from Isaac Allen, and was present when the contract was made, with the agreement and understanding that she had no legal rights, and that she was to have only the right of joint occupancy with him. The appellee joined issue on this answer, and proof was taken. On trial the court adjudged appellee entitled to the relief sought, and rendered judgment quieting her title and possession for her life interest in the land. From that judgment this appeal is prosecuted.

We are of opinion from the evidence in this record that  [**3] it is shown that, at the death of John Allen, he and the appellee were living together as husband and wife, and had so lived for over 30 years, and had actually been married; that the son, Isaac Allen, was the owner in fee of the land of his father, and recognized that appellee had the rights of a widow of his father; that Isaac Allen and appellee agreed that appellee's interest should be a life estate in one-half of the land; that the land was divided, and one-half sold to Samuel Black; that the half in which appellee was to have a life estate was sold to the appellant, who had full knowledge of appellee's right, and accepted a bond for title recognizing that right; that appellant rented from appellee, and was on the land as her tenant; that the deed from Isaac Allen to appellee was not champertous, but passed title in accordance with the agreement between Isaac Allen and appellee, and which agreement was recognized by appellant in his purchase. It follows from these conclusions that the judgment of the circuit court should be affirmed.

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