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Clevenger v. Moore

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

Featuring Black's Law Dictionary 2nd Ed.
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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.1927 OK 260, 126 Okla. 246, 259 P. 219

Brief Fact Summary. Clevenger (Plaintiff) owned a building in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, which she considered trading to Simmons for an apartment building. Peay, acting as an intermediate, took a deed to Simmons, which Peay was to hold pending Plaintiff’s investigation of Simmons’ Tulsa property.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. No title will pass by a deed, which is not delivered by the grantor or someone duly authorized by him.


Facts. Plaintiff owned a building in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, which she considered trading to Simmons for an apartment building that Simmons owned in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Peay, acting as an intermediate, took a deed to Simmons, which was executed by Plaintiff. Peay was to hold this deed pending Plaintiff’s investigation of Simmons’ Tulsa property. If Plaintiff did not approve the trade, the deed was to be returned to Plaintiff. Plaintiff left Bartlesville for a time and upon returning found that the deed to Simmons had been recorded and that Simmons had since deeded the property to Moore (Defendant). Plaintiff sued for possession of the property, and for cancellation of the deed. The trial court found for Defendant, and Plaintiff appealed.

Issue. Two issues were stated by the court:
When a deed is placed in escrow and the same is delivered to the grantee without performance of the conditions for delivery, is such a deed absolutely void?
What are the rights of one claiming to be an innocent purchaser for value of the property from such grantee, when such grantee is in possession of the property without the knowledge or consent of the grantor?

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