Logourl black

Godburn v. Meserve

Connecticut Supreme Court
37 A.2d 235 (1944)


Facts

Meserve (defendant) is the executor of the estate of Carrie J. Wells (the decedent). The decedent was an elderly woman who lived next door to Godburn (plaintiff) for over 20 years. Godburn rented a house from the decedent. Godburn and the decedent knew each other well during this time. When the decedent was 76 years old, she entered a contract with Godburn. The contract provided that the decedent and Godburn would live together until the decedent’s death, that Godburn would provide meals and basic care services for the decedent, and that Godburn would pay a reduced rent in exchange for performing these services for the decedent. The decedent agreed that if Godburn would perform these services for her until her death, she would leave her house to Godburn in her will. After two years of his arrangement, Godburn became very upset with the way the decedent was behaving. The decedent frequently complained about the state of the house and the meals she was served by Godburn. The decedent did not like being left alone in the house at night, and thus attempted to prevent Godburn from leaving on weekends or going on vacations. Godburn moved out of the house on August 5, 1941 and provided no further services to the decedent. The decedent revoked her will. The decedent died May 21, 1942 at the age of 83. Godburn brought suit in Connecticut state court seeking to enforce the agreement the decedent made to leave her house to Godburn. Godburn argued that the decedent’s behavior made it impossible for him to continue performing his part of the agreement until her death. The jury entered judgment in favor Godburn, and Meserve appealed.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Brown, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • 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.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Here's why 85,000 law students rely on our case briefs:

  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners not other law students.
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet.
  • 11,925 briefs - keyed to 159 casebooks.
  • Uniform format for every case brief.
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language.
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions.
  • Ability to tag case briefs in an outlining tool.
  • Top-notch customer support.
Start Your Free Trial Now