Reicherter v. McCauley

283 P.3d 219 (2012)

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Reicherter v. McCauley

Kansas Court of Appeals
283 P.3d 219 (2012)

LJ

Facts

Richard Reicherter and Douglas Reicherter (plaintiff) were cousins who owned 80 acres of farmland in Marshall County, Kansas. Richard and Doug owned the land as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. On December 18, 2009, Richard conveyed his interest in the 80 acres to himself in an attempt to sever the joint tenancy and create a tenancy in common. On December 22, Richard’s attorney mailed the deed containing the self-conveyance to the recorder. On December 28, Richard died. Douglas was unaware of Richard’s deed self-conveying his interest in the property until after Richard died. Douglas and Richard did not have any agreement to preserve the joint tenancy. Barbara McCauley (defendant) was appointed as executrix of Richard’s estate. Douglas filed suit against McCauley to quiet title, and both sides sought summary judgment. The district court found in favor of McCauley, determining that it was clear that through the self-conveyance, Richard intended to sever the joint tenancy and create a tenancy in common. The district court also found that the joint tenancy was severed at the time the quitclaim deed was delivered for filing. Douglas contended that the unilateral self-conveyance was ineffective in severing the joint tenancy because the deed was not recorded until after Richard died and Douglas had not otherwise received notice. Therefore, Douglas argued, he had the right of survivorship, and he appealed, seeking reversal of the district court’s judgment and quiet title of the 80 acres in his favor. McCauley contended that notice to Douglas was not required and the fact that the deed was not recorded after Richard’s death was inconsequential and did not nullify his intent to sever the joint tenancy.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Hill, J.)

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