Whitehurst v. Abbott
North Carolina Supreme Court
33 S.E.2d 129, 225 N.C. 1 (1945)
In January 1910, John Hinton, a resident of Pasquotank County, North Carolina, died testate. John’s will devised his 324-acre farm to his wife and living children. The farm was located in Camden County, North Carolina. The will was probated in Pasquotank County. A copy of the will was also recorded in Camden County. In August 1910, John’s son R. I. Hinton purchased the remaining interests in the farm from the other devisees and recorded the deed in Camden County. In September 1918, Ada Whitehurst (plaintiff), a successor in interest of John’s deceased son, J. C., filed a caveat to the will in Pasquotank County. There was no notice of lis pendens filed in Camden County, nor was the claim indexed or cross-indexed on the lis pendens docket in Pasquotank County. In July 1919, during the pendency of the caveat proceedings, R. I. Hinton conveyed the farm to T. G. McPherson. McPherson was aware of the challenge to the will at the time that he purchased the property and was personally present during the caveat proceedings. In January 1920, the Pasquotank County court declared the will void due to John’s mental incapacity and undue influence. However, the judgment was not certified in Camden County nor was entry made on the recorded copy of the will in Camden County. In December 1923, McPherson conveyed the farm to H. D. Abbott (defendant). Following the judgment on the will, Whitehurst filed suit for the sale of land by partition. The trial court denied Whitehurst’s request and found that McPherson and Abbott were each bona fide purchasers who purchased the land for valuable consideration and without notice of Whitehurst’s competing interest in the land. Whitehurst filed an appeal.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Barnhill, J.)
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