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Walters v. Tucker

Law Dictionary
CASE BRIEFS

Law Dictionary

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Property Law Keyed to Cribbet

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 22 Ill.281 S.W.2d 843 (Mo. 1955)

Brief Fact Summary. The Plaintiff and Defendant are neighbors. Plaintiff sued to quiet title to property. Plaintiff claimed that their deed which that provided “[w]est 50 feet of lot 13″ meant that the 50 feet should be measured in accordance with the width of the lot. The Defendant claimed that the 50 feet referred to frontage along a road, which would make the Plaintiff’s land only about 42 feet wide.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. When there is no inconsistency on the face of a deed and, on application of the description to the ground, no inconsistency appears, parol evidence is not admissible to show that the parties intended to convey either more or less or different ground from that described.


Facts. The Plaintiff and Defendant are neighbors. Plaintiff sued to quiet title to property. Plaintiff claimed that their deed which that provided “[w]est 50 feet of lot 13″ meant that the 50 feet should be measured in accordance with the width of the lot. The Defendant claimed that the 50 feet referred to frontage along a road, which would make the Plaintiff’s land only about 42 feet wide. Both Plaintiff and Defendant traced their title back to a common grantor in 1922. In 1924, Wolf and wife, grantor, conveyed to Plaintiff’s predecessors in title the following described land, “[t]he West 50 feet of Lot 13 of West Helfenstein Park, a Subdivision in United States Survey 1953, Twp. 45, Range 8 Ease, St. Louis County, Missouri.” The Plaintiff’s property contains a one-story frame house, 450 Oak Street. In 1925, Wolf and wife built a 1 1 1/2 story stucco dwelling house on the portion of lot 13 retained by them, which is now owned by Defendants. The lower court admitted evidence regarding the meaning of the Plaintiff’s deed and found that it was unclear as to whether the property conveyed was the fifty feet along the street line or fifty feet from the western edge of the lot. The lower court found that the conveyance was to be of the fifty feet fronting Oak Street from the western edge of the lot, which, due to the angle of Oak Street to the lot, meant that the Plaintiff’s land was only 42 feet wide. The Plaintiff appealed.
Issue. What is the proper construction of the description in the deed?

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