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Earle v. Fiske

Supreme Court of Massachusetts
103 Mass. 491 (1870)


Facts

Nancy Fiske executed and delivered a deed conveying a life estate in real property to her son and sole heir, Benjamin Fiske, and his wife, Elizabeth Fiske. The deed conveyed fee simple title to Mary Fiske upon the termination of the life estate. Nancy Fiske died in 1865. Benjamin Fiske executed a deed to Earle (plaintiff) in 1866. Nancy Fiske’s original deed was recorded in 1867. Earle filed a quiet title suit against Elizabeth and Mary Fiske (defendants). The trial court held that Nancy Fiske’s deed conveyed her full interest in the property at the time of execution and therefore Benjamin Fiske did not inherit fee simple title upon Nancy Fiske’s death. As such, the trial court ruled that Benjamin Fiske did not possess good title capable of being conveyed to Earle at the time that Fiske executed the deed to Earle. Earle appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ames, 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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