Quimbee logo
DMCA.com Protection Status
From our private database of 19,800+ case briefs...

Massey v. Prothero

Utah Supreme Court
664 P.2d 1176 (1983)


Jonathan and Amy Barton Prothero owned a parcel of land. Both died intestate and the land was passed to their children as tenants in common. The cotenants agreed that anyone who occupied the home on the property would not pay rent but would pay property taxes and maintain the home. One of the cotenants failed to pay the property taxes while he occupied the home. The next cotenant to occupy the home, Lewis Prothero (defendant), learned of the unpaid taxes when the county put the property up for sale in 1967. Lewis attempted to pay the taxes but was advised by the tax assessor to simply purchase the property at the tax sale. Lewis purchased the property at the tax sale for $55.01. He did not notify his cotenants of his purchase and the property was deeded to Lewis and his wife Alene as joint tenants. In 1974, Mary Prothero (plaintiff), his sister and cotenant, told Lewis that she wished to improve the home. Lewis replied that it was not a good time. He did not tell her or the other cotenants that he had exclusive ownership of the property. It was not until May 1976, while Mary was visiting the property, that he told her of his exclusive claim to the property. In 1977, Mary again visited the property. Lewis instructed her to leave and threatened to call the sheriff if she returned. Soon after, Mary brought suit against Lewis and Alene to quiet title in the property in the names of all the surviving cotenants, which included Mary, Lewis, Evelyn Prothero, and the heirs of Rex Prothero. The district court made five findings: (1) that Lewis purchased the property at the tax sale for the benefits of all cotenants and therefore did not take greater title than he possessed before; (2) that Alene did not obtain title against the surviving cotenants; (3) that the quiet title action was not barred by the statute of limitations; (4) that Lewis did not oust his cotenants; and (5) that Lewis and Alene were joint tenants as to a one-fourth interest in the property, and were tenants in common with Mary, Evelyn, and the heirs of Rex.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Stewart, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 510,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.

  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.

Here's why 510,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 19,800 briefs, keyed to 985 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Questions & Answers

Have a question about this case?

Sign up for a free 7-day trial and ask it

Sign up for a FREE 7-day trial