Logourl black
From our private database of 13,800+ case briefs...

Messersmith v. Smith

Supreme Court of North Dakota
60 N.W.2d 276 (1953)


Facts

Caroline Messersmith and her nephew, Frederick Messersmith (plaintiff), each owned a one-half interest in land. On May 7, 1946, Caroline executed a quitclaim deed to Frederick, granting him her half-interest in the land. This deed was not recorded until July 9, 1951. On May 7, 1951, Caroline granted Herbert Smith, Jr. (defendant), a one-half interest in the oil and minerals located on the same land. The deed for this transaction was executed on the same date. However, when Smith noticed there was a minor error in the deed, Smith returned to Caroline’s home, tore up the deed, and prepared a second deed. The second deed was then brought to a notary public, who acknowledged Caroline’s signature by telephone. On May 9, 1951, Smith, in turn, conveyed the one-half interest in the mineral rights on the property to E.B. Seale (defendant). Both the second deed and the conveyance to Seale were recorded on May 26, 1951. Frederick sued to quiet title, claiming the deed to Smith was void. Smith defaulted. Seale argued that he was a good-faith purchaser without notice and therefore protected under the recording statute. The trial court concluded that there had been no fraud in the transfer between Caroline and Smith and ultimately found for Seale. Frederick appealed to the Supreme Court of North Dakota.

Rule of Law

The rule of law is the black letter law upon which the court rested its decision. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Issue

The issue section includes the dispositive legal issue in the case phrased as a question. To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

Holding and Reasoning (Morris, C.J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • 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.).

To access this section, start your 7-day free trial of Quimbee for Law Students.

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 97,000 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 168,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 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.