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Caruso v. Parkos

Supreme Court of Nebraska
637 N.W.2d 351 (2002)


Facts

Virginia Parkos (defendant) owned a five-sevenths interest in a property. Virginia’s two daughters, Susan Caruso (plaintiff) and Carol Nattress, each held a one-seventh interest in the property. In April 1997, Carol approached Virginia about conveying Virginia’s interest to Carol and Susan. Susan would then buy out Carol’s share. On June 20, Virginia signed a deed transferring the property to Carol and Susan. On June 26, Carol deeded her interest to Susan. Both deeds were given to Virginia’s attorney, Curtis Sikyta, for recording, but he did not record them at that time. On October 27, 1997, Virginia executed a deed to her son, James Parkos, purporting to convey the same property as the June 20 deed. This October 27 deed was recorded. After this, Sikyta finally recorded the June 20 and June 26 deeds. Susan sued to quiet title to the property. At trial, James argued the property belonged to him because: (1) the June 20 deed was invalid, because it had never been delivered; (2) the June 20 deed was voidable, because it had been obtained through undue influence; and (3) James was a good faith, bona fide purchaser whose deed was valid, because the June 20 deed was not recorded before the October 27 deed was recorded. The trial court ruled in favor of Susan. James appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Gerrard, 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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