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Stoller v. Doyle

Supreme Court of Illinois
100 N.E. 959 (1913)


Facts

Lawrence Doyle conveyed a warranty deed to Frank Doyle including language that would cause title to revert to Lawrence in the event that Frank died leaving no surviving children. In the event that Frank was survived by children, his wife would take a life estate in the property and the children would take fee simple title upon the death of the wife. Lawrence Doyle later executed a second deed to Frank Doyle for the same property with no restrictions. The second deed expressly stated that it was intended to remove the restrictions of the first deed. Frank Doyle later sold the land by warranty deed to John Stoller (defendant). Stoller in turn attempted to sell the property to another party, but the sale fell through when the title abstract concluded that Stoller could not convey marketable title. Stoller and the putative purchaser litigated the issue of the marketability of Stoller’s title. The state supreme court ultimately affirmed the trial court’s conclusion that the first deed issued by Lawrence Doyle conveyed a remainder interest to Frank Doyle’s children that could not be destroyed by the second, unconditional deed. Stoller filed a quiet title action against Frank Doyle’s wife and children. The court appointed a guardian ad litem to represent the interest of Doyle’s minor children. The circuit court concluded that Stoller held fee simple title and ruled in his favor. Doyle’s wife and adult children did not appeal, but the guardian ad litem for Doyle’s minor children (defendants) petitioned the state supreme court for review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Yeager, D.J.)

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  • 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.).

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