Thorn v. Adams

865 P.2d 417 (1993)

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Thorn v. Adams

Oregon Court of Appeals
865 P.2d 417 (1993)

Facts

Adams (defendant) owned a car. Adams’s son-in-law, Richard, took the car to a car dealership and repair shop named Gateley’s Fairway Motors (Gateley’s). Richard left the car at Gateley’s for repairs. Though Richard inquired about the car’s estimated value, Richard never gave Gateley’s the authority to sell the car. Nevertheless, Thorn (plaintiff) saw the car on Gateley’s lot, and Gateley’s sold the car to Thorn. Once Richard found out, Richard demanded the car back. Thorn refused, sued Adams for conversion, and sought a court order requiring Adams to transfer the car’s certificate of title to Thorn. Adams counterclaimed and sought a court order requiring Thorn to return possession of the car or to pay Adams the car’s fair market value. Both parties moved for summary judgment. The trial court ruled in Thorn’s favor based on the entrustment rule, and ordered Adams to transfer the car’s certificate of title to Thorn and to take such other actions as reasonably necessary to register the car in Thorn’s name. On appeal, Adams argued that even if the entrustment rule applied under the circumstances, the entrustment rule did not apply to Thorn because Thorn was not a buyer in the ordinary course of business. More specifically, Adams argued that the exclusive method for transferring title to a car is by transferring the certificate of title, and that Thorn should have known the transaction was unusual when Gateley’s did not transfer the certificate of title simultaneously with the purchase such that Thorn did not purchase the car in good faith.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Leeson, J.)

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