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Lakatos v. Estate of Billotti

Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
509 S.E.2d 594 (1998)


Facts

Frank J. Billotti and Carolyn Sue Billotti owned several plots of land as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. In 1982, Frank Billotti murdered Carolyn Billotti. Frank Billotti then transferred the land he had owned as joint tenants with Carolyn to his mother. Carolyn’s parents, Andrew and Virginia Lakatos (plaintiffs) brought suit against the Estate of Carolyn Billotti (defendant) to compel the transfer of the property held in joint tenancy to themselves, as the beneficiaries of Carolyn’s will. The trial court determined that the estate was not entitled to the property held in joint tenancy with Frank Billotti, as that property passed to Frank upon Carolyn’s death. Lakatos petitioned for certiorari to the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Maynard, 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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