Koch v. Briggs
California Supreme Court
14 Cal. 256 (1859)
Briggs (defendant) issued a promissory note to Koch (plaintiff). To secure the note, Briggs also executed a deed of trust conveying a piece of real property in trust, with Koch as the beneficiary. Under the terms of the two instruments, Koch could demand the entire principal and accrued interest on the note upon Briggs’s default, and the trustee could hold a public sale of the property to satisfy the demand. Briggs defaulted on his interest payments, the trustee held a public sale of the property, and Koch purchased the property as the highest bidder at the sale. Koch then filed an ejectment action against Briggs. Briggs argued that, in reality, the deed of trust functioned as a mortgage and that, accordingly, Koch’s failure to foreclose on the property rather than hold a public sale prevented Koch from ever obtaining title to the property. The trial court ruled in favor of Briggs, and Koch appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Field, C.J.)
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