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Strain v. Green

Supreme Court of Washington
172 P.2d 216 (1946)


Facts

Jacob Green and his wife (defendants) sold their house to William Strain and his wife (plaintiffs). After the sale, the Greens removed several items from the house, including a hot-water tank, Venetian blinds, three mirrors, and several light fixtures. Two of the mirrors were attached to the wall with thick pieces of plywood backing. The plywood backing had been nailed to the wall several times. When the Greens removed the mirrors and plywood, some of the wall’s plaster came off with it. The removal also exposed a different paint color. The third mirror was in the bathroom and was not nailed to the wall but hung on a hook. The Strains requested that the removed items be returned, but the Greens declined. The Strains brought suit, claiming that the items removed were non-removable fixtures. At trial, the Greens testified that they never intended for the items to be part of the realty and that, in fact, they had previously removed the items from their prior house when they sold that house. The trial court ruled that the hot-water tank and Venetian blinds were fixtures and ordered the Greens to return them. The trial court also ruled that the light fixtures and mirrors were personal property that the Greens were entitled to take. The Strains appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Robinson, 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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