When Alma Rand died, she left her property to her two children and three stepchildren. In her will, Rand stated that the property was to be left to her son, John Rand, in fee simple with the proviso that he must never deny access to Alma’s other children during their lifetime. Muriel Babb (plaintiff) eventually received John’s interest in the property. Redford Rand (defendant) was the only surviving child of Alma’s who retained an interest in the property. Babb brought suit, seeking a determination of the legal interest held by Redford Rand. The probate-court judge determined that John Rand took Alma’s share of the property in fee simple absolute and that the other children took nothing. Redford appealed the decision. The appellate judge also ruled that John Rand was given a fee simple absolute. The judge held that language of the proviso was antithetical to the creation of the fee simple and thus null and void. Redford Rand appealed to the state supreme court.