Nelson v. Parker
Indiana Supreme Court
687 N.E.2d 187 (Ind. 1997)
Shortly before his death, Russell Nelson executed a warranty deed stating his intent that, when he died, his property should pass to his son Daniel (plaintiff). The deed also contained the express statement that Daniel’s interest in the property was subject to a life estate held by Irene Parker (defendant), who had lived with Russell for thirteen years prior to his death. After Russell died, Parker remained on the property, and Daniel brought an action to eject her. The trial court granted Parker’s motion for summary judgment. Daniel then appealed, arguing before the court of appeals that the warranty deed improperly reserved an interest to Parker, who was a stranger to the deed. At common law, a grantor could reserve an interest in a deed for himself, but not for any other party, who would be considered a “stranger” to the deed. Daniel cited the Indiana Supreme Court’s decision in Ogle v. Barker, 68 N.E.2d 550 (1946), which upheld the common law rule. The court of appeals determined that the grantor’s intent would govern in interpreting the deed, and would be determined by the deed’s language and the surrounding circumstances at the time of execution. The court of appeals also noted that the common law rule was developed in feudal times and was no longer relevant. Accordingly, the court of appeals upheld Parker’s life estate. Daniel then appealed to the state supreme court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Boehm, 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 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.
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 174,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,000 briefs, keyed to 188 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.