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Horne v. Aune

Court of Appeals of Washington
121 P.3d 1227 (Wa. 2005)


In contemplation of a family life together, Cecilia Horne (plaintiff) and Steven Aune (defendant) purchased a home as tenants in common. Horne and Aune were experienced real-estate investors, viewed the property as an investment opportunity, and contributed equally to the down payment. Horne’s 12-year-old son, William, also moved into the house. Shortly thereafter, the relationship between and Horne and Aune soured. Horne and Aune entered into a written partnership agreement drafted by Horne, describing their respective rights and obligations for the property. The agreement provided in part that if either party was lawfully removed from the property by law enforcement or was the subject of a restraining order, the party remaining in the residence was solely financially responsible for the mortgage, taxes, insurance, and care and upkeep of the home. Subsequently, an altercation between Aune, Horne, and William resulted in Aune leaving the residence for approximately one week. During that time, Horne obtained a restraining order against Aune, and Aune was charged with two counts of assault. Horne remained in possession of the home and paid all of the household expenses. Horne filed suit against Aune, claiming that the partnership could no longer function, necessitating a winding up and dissolution. Additionally, Horne requested that the home be sold and that Horne be permitted to purchase Aune’s interest in the property. The house was appraised at $335,000. Aune argued that the Revised Uniform Partnership Act (RUPA) required the house to be sold via a public sale. The trial court found the partnership agreement to be valid and enforceable, and valued the property at $335,000 with a mortgage balance of $235,000. The trial court ordered Horne to buy Aune’s interest for $50,000, and ordered Aune to quitclaim his interest in the property to Horne. Horne and Aune cross-appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Houghton, J.)

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