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Lenhart v. Desmond

Supreme Court of Wyoming
705 P.2d 338 (1985)


Facts

In 1974, Desmond (plaintiff) executed a warranty deed to his daughter Elizabeth Lenhart (defendant) and placed it in a safety deposit box. Being in his eighties, Desmond was making arrangements to pass the property to his daughter upon his death. He gave her access to the deposit box through a signature card. When Desmond was hospitalized after an automobile accident in July 1983, Lenhart had to retrieve insurance documents from the deposit box. After his release, Desmond checked the box and found the deed missing. Lenhart recorded the deed in October 1983. Desmond alleged that he had never given the deed to Lenhart and that he did not intend for his daughter to have the property before his death. Lenhart refused to return the deed to prevent her father from mortgaging the property and using the money on alcohol. The district court held that there was no effective delivery of the deed because Desmond never intended to deliver it. Lenhart appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Cardine, 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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