Masterson v. Sine
Supreme Court of California
436 P.2d 561, 68 Cal.2d 222 (1968)
Dallas Masterson and his wife Rebecca Masterson (plaintiff) owned a ranch as tenants in common. On February 25, 1958, they conveyed the ranch to Medora and Lu Sine (defendants) through a grant deed which reserved the option for the grantors to purchase the property back within ten years of the date of conveyance. The deed stated that the Mastersons could exercise this option by paying the same amount of consideration as was provided by the Sines, minus any depreciation in the value of the property. Medora Sine is Dallas Masterson’s sister and the wife of Lu Sine. After the conveyance, Dallas declared bankruptcy, and a bankruptcy trustee took over his estate. The trustee and Rebecca Masterson brought a declaratory relief action to establish their right to enforce the option to repurchase the property conveyed to the Sines. At trial, the trial court admitted extrinsic evidence showing that the “consideration” mentioned in the agreement was $50,000, and that any “deprecation in value” referred to depreciation allowable under income tax laws. However, the trial court also held that the parol evidence rule prohibited introduction of evidence offered by the Sines that the parties intended the property to be kept within the Masterson family and thus that the option was personal to the Mastersons and could not be exercised by the bankruptcy trustee. Both parties appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, C.J.)
Dissent (Burke, J.)
What to do next…
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 724,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
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.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 724,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 45,600 briefs, keyed to 983 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.