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In re Estate of Drake

District of Columbia Court of Appeals
4 A.3d 450 (D.C. App. 2010)


Facts

Sherry Miles St. Claire Drake (St. Claire Drake) (plaintiff) renounced the will of her estranged husband, Carthur L.M. Drake (Carthur). St. Claire Drake brought suit in probate court and entered into a settlement agreement with Carthur’s estate and trust (defendants) in 1998. The settlement agreement contained a clause dealing with certain property that had belonged to Carthur. The property was 99% owned by the trust, but was subject to IRS liens. The settlement agreement provided that the defendants would issue a quitclaim deed to St. Claire Drake for the property within 20 days of the release of the IRS liens. In 2008, the liens had not been released and St. Claire Drake brought this suit, asking the court to grant her possession of the property. At trial, she presented evidence that there had been no progress toward resolving the liens and that the defendants had not even attempted to resolve the liens within the previous four years. The trial court ruled in favor of St. Claire Drake and ordered the defendants to grant St. Claire Drake a quitclaim deed for the property. The defendants appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kramer, 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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