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Haner v. Bruce

Vermont Supreme Court
499 A.2d 792 (1985)


Facts

In March 1979, Almond Haner (plaintiff) secured and filed with the city clerk a writ of attachment against Wendall Bruce (defendant). The clerk recorded and indexed the attachment in the attachment ledger, but did not index it in the general index of land records, as required by Vermont law. In May 1979, Bruce purchased land that he immediately conveyed to David and Gloria Fosgate (defendants). Prior to purchasing the land from Bruce, the Fosgates conducted a routine title search. The search did not uncover the mis-indexed writ of attachment previously filed by Haner. In 1982, Haner obtained a final judgment in the attachment suit against Bruce, which he promptly filed and recorded with the city clerk. Thereafter, the Fosgates learned of the attachment. Haner brought suit to collect on the writ of attachment. The trial court dismissed Haner’s claim, finding that the Fosgates, as bona fide purchasers of Bruce’s property without notice of the mis-indexed attachment, could not be liable to Haner for the attachment proceeds. Haner appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gibson, J.)

Dissent (Allen, C.J.)

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