Barrett v. Barrett
Louisiana Court of Appeal
5 So.2d 381 (1941)
Ellen Barrett (plaintiff) was an elderly, single woman with no dependents who lived in a large, dilapidated house in Shreveport, Louisiana. Ellen decided to sell the property to her nephew, Rufus Barrett (defendant). In exchange for the property, Rufus paid Ellen $150 and granted her a right of habitation in the new home he planned to build on the lot. The sale contract was properly recorded. Rufus tore down the old house, built a new three-bedroom home on the land, and moved into the home with his family. Rufus designated one of the bedrooms for Ellen’s private use and moved her piano into it. Ellen believed, however, that Rufus had promised to build the house only for her and that she was entitled to the exclusive use of the new house under the terms of the contract. Ellen sued Rufus to obtain the right to exclusive possession and use of the house. At trial, Rufus denied promising Ellen that the house would be built for her exclusive use. Rather, Rufus testified that he had promised to share his family’s home with Ellen, give her a private bedroom, and provide for her for the rest of her life. The trial court held for Rufus, and Ellen appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hamiter, J.)
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