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Lott v. Muldoon Road Baptist Church, Inc.

Supreme Court of Alaska
466 P.2d 815 (1970)


In 1951, Leo Lott (plaintiff) moved to Alaska and married Burnie Garland. Lott purchased a 75-foot tract of property. In 1955, Lott and Garland were divorced, and as part of the settlement, Lott received an additional 60-foot tract of property adjacent to her initial parcel. As a result, Lott collectively owned a 135-foot tract of property. Garland retained a 195-foot adjacent parcel in the settlement. Lott left Alaska in 1955. While Lott was gone, Garland had a 270-foot portion of property, including 75 feet of Lott’s parcel, surveyed, platted, and divided into three lots. In 1958, Garland designated the platted land as a Homesite Park Subdivision and certified that he owned all the property in the plat. Garland then purported to convey the property to Title Insurance and Trust Company (Title Insurance) in connection with a loan under a recorded deed of trust. In 1959, Title Insurance reconveyed the platted land back to Garland by a deed of reconveyance. In 1960, Garland entered into a one-year lease, with an option to purchase the plat, with Eagle River First Baptist Church (Eagle River), which took possession immediately and held weekly services on the property. Garland died in 1961. In 1962, the National Bank of Alaska executed an administrator’s deed purportedly conveying the property to Muldoon Road Baptist Church, Inc. (Muldoon) (defendant), the successor to Eagle River. In 1967, Lott filed suit to eject Muldoon from the property and to quiet title to the portion she owned. The trial court found that Lott had no right or interest in the property, and Lott appealed.

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