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Bridges v. Heimburger

Supreme Court of Mississippi
360 So. 2d 929 (1978)


Facts

In 1967, Bridges and Deweese (defendants) sold a lot to Hugh Moore. Moore individually executed the purchase-money deed of trust, but Moore Homes, Inc. (Moore Homes) was the grantee listed on the deed. When Moore failed to make payments on the lot, Bridges and Deweese foreclosed and repurchased the lot. However, the legal title inadvertently remained in Moore Homes. The mistake was not discovered until 1974. In the meantime, in 1969, Bridges and Deweese had conveyed the lot by general warranty deed to Doyle Homes, Inc. (Doyle Homes) (defendant). Doyle Homes built a home on the lot and, in 1970, sold the property by general warranty deed to the Heimburgers (plaintiffs). In 1974, the Heimburgers contracted to sell the home. However, just before the scheduled closing, the parties discovered that legal title was incorrectly held by Moore Homes. The Heimburgers sued Doyle Homes, Bridges, and Deweese for damages in June 1974, but the trial court did not hear the matter until November 1975. In the meantime, Moore Homes cured the defect in title by filing a quitclaim deed and clarifying that Moore Homes had no interest in the property. After the title had been cured, the Heimburgers rented the house for a time, but they made no further efforts to sell and did not make any further mortgage payments. In September 1975, the property was sold at foreclosure. Nevertheless, at trial on the Heimburgers’ damages claim, the court determined that the defendants owed the amount the Heimburgers would have netted from the 1974 sale if the title had there not been defective. Defendants Bridges and Deweese appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bizzell, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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