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Whildin v. Kovacs

403 N.E.2d 694 (1980)

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Whildin v. Kovacs

Illinois Appellate Court

403 N.E.2d 694 (1980)

Facts

Landowners (plaintiffs) sued two purchasers (defendants) for slander of title after the purchasers’ offer to buy a parcel of the landowners’ real estate fell through. The landowners accepted the purchasers’ offer subject to the recission of an existing contract on the same parcel of real estate. When the existing contract had not been cancelled, the purchasers were notified, and their earnest money was returned to them. Notwithstanding that, the purchasers went ahead and recorded their real estate contract with the landowners with the recorder of deeds and filed a notice of lis pendens against the property. The landowners alleged these actions impaired the landowners’ ability to sell their property and that this constituted a slander of title. The trial court dismissed the slander-of-title claim because the trial court found that the claim did not contain an allegation of malice and that the purchasers had not acted with malice. The landowners appealed after the trial court denied the landowner’s request to file a second amended counterclaim. The landowners cited the Restatement of Torts § 625(b) and argued that the purchasers’ recorded the contract and filed the notice of lis pendens without legal justification and that was sufficient to establish malice for slander of title.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McGillicuddy, J.)

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