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Anderson v. Anderson

Supreme Court of North Dakota
435 N.W.2d 687 (1989)


Facts

In 1934, Julia Anderson deeded her farm to James T. Anderson. James took possession and operated the farm but never recorded the deed. After James's death, his heirs, Merton and Karen Anderson (plaintiffs), continued to possess the farm. In 1951, Julia deeded the same farm to Ida Matthews and Willie H. Anderson (defendants). Ida and Willie promptly recorded the 1951 deed, but they never possessed the farm or claimed its profits. Merton and Karen brought a quiet-title action against Ida and Willie to settle the farm's ownership. Under the relevant statute, an unrecorded deed was void as against any subsequent purchaser of the property who acted in good faith, paid valuable consideration, and recorded a purchase deed. The only evidence of good faith and valuable consideration that Ida and Willie produced was the 1951 deed. The trial judge ruled that the 1951 deed created a presumption that Ida and Willie acted in good faith and paid valuable consideration for the farm and that Merton and Karen had not overcome that presumption. The judge entered judgment for Ida and Willie, and Merton and Karen appealed to the Supreme Court of Nebraska.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Meschke, J.)

Concurrence (Vande Walle, J.)

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