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McIntyre v. Scarbrough

Supreme Court of Georgia
471 S.E. 2d 199 (1996)


Facts

In 1988, McIntyre (defendant) sold a large tract of land to Scarbrough (plaintiff) but reserved a life estate in 1.2 acres of that land. McIntyre was responsible for maintaining the land and the home on the 1.2 acres and for paying ad valorem taxes. However, from 1990 to 1994, McIntyre failed to pay taxes. Scarbrough also alleged that she had not seen McIntyre since 1990 and offered evidence that the latter’s home had been unoccupied for some time and had fallen into a state of disrepair. There was testimony that it posed a fire and health hazard. Scarbrough petitioned to terminate McIntyre’s life estate because of waste. McIntyre was 90 years old and not living on the subject premises because of illness, but her grandson apparently had undertaken some repairs. McIntyre claimed that she intended to return to the property, citing personal belongings that were still at the home as well as her grandson’s repairs. She argued that her poor health and hardship prevented her from maintaining the property. The trial court granted summary judgment for Scarbrough on the grounds that the evidence conclusively established that McIntyre had committed waste. McIntyre appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Thompson, J.)

Dissent (Benham, J.)

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