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Keilbach v. McCullough

Indiana Court of Appeals
669 N.E.2d 1052 (1996)


Facts

Dorothea McCullough (plaintiff) purchased 120 acres of land from Charles Keilbach (defendant). As part of this sale transaction, Keilbach gave McCullough a warranty deed. Sid Martin owned property adjacent to the 120-acre tract. Several years later, when McCullough put the land on the market, Martin claimed adverse possession of a 7-acre portion of McCullough’s property that was adjacent to his land. To quiet title to the disputed 7 acres, McCullough sued Martin. McCullough won the case against Martin, successfully proving the 7 acres belonged to her. Then McCullough sued Keilbach for breach of the warranty deed. Pursuant to the warranty deed, Keilbach was obligated to defend McCullough’s title to the land against all lawful claims. McCullough argued that Keilbach had breached this warranty because he had not defended her title to the 7-acre tract. Rather, McCullough had defended the title herself. The trial court agreed and ruled in favor of McCullough. Keilbach appealed, arguing that he had not breached the warranty deed because McCullough’s efforts to defend the property’s title against Martin’s claim had been successful.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Baker, 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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