CaseCast™ – "What you need to know"
Brief Fact Summary. An action to quiet title to property rests upon the issue of whether the original deed conveyed a fee simple determinable with possibility of reverter or a fee simple subject to condition subsequent with a right of re-entry.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The common law states future interests in land by possibility of reverter or right of re-entry are inheritable, but are not transferable by will or by inter vivos conveyance. The use of the word “only” in a deed followed by the words for school purpose, demonstrates a limited grant subject to a condition, thus, creating a fee simple determinable. The phrase, “otherwise to revert to grantors herein” coupled with the limiting word of “only” triggers a mandatory return.
A breach of the condition in such a case does not, of itself, determine the estate, but an entry, or some act equivalent thereto, is necessary to re-vest the estate, and bringing a suit in ejectment is equivalent to such re-entry.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Whether the language of a conveyance properly conveyed an interest in real property.
Held. Reversed and remanded. The language in the deed created a fee simple determinable followed by a possibility of reverter.
Discussion. A future interest gives the holder the right or the possibility of an estate. A fee simple determinable conveys a possibility of reverter that automatically reverts to the grantor upon the occurrence of a stated event. A fee simple subject to a condition subsequent conveys a right of entry that is not automatic, but the grantor must exercise his right of entry. The significance of this case is during this time period these future interests could not be conveyed by inter vivos gift or sale, thus the only way the Plaintiffs could have acquired the school land was if the grantor in the case had a present interest in the land to convey.