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Washington State Grange v. Brandt

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Washington State Grange sued the Brandts to quiet title when they sought a quitclaim deed to obtain land that was conveyed to the Brandts by the original grantor.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    A fee simple determinable survives if it is coupled with an executor interest and the executor interest becomes void.

    Facts.

    The Gorze  conveyed land to the Orchard Grange. The deed stated that the land would revert back to the original plot if the land was used for any purpose other than the Grange. The Gorzes then conveyed the remainder of their property to the Brandts. When the Orchard Grange dissolved and was no longer used for Grange purposes, the interest was passed to the Washington State Grange (WSG). The Brandts sought a quitclaim deed to convey the interest in the plot of land used for the Grange to the Brandts. WSG then sued the Brandts to quiet title. The trial court granted judgment to WSG.

    Issue.

    Whether a fee simple determinable survives if it is coupled with an executory interest and the executory interest becomes void?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is reversed. It is not clear whether the land was conveyed to the Brandts through the quitclaim deed. The condition causing the reversion occurred more than 21 years after the creation of the agreement, making the reversion invalid under the rule against perpetuities.

    Discussion.

    A fee simple determinable survives if it is coupled with an executory interest and the executory interest becomes void.Under the rule of perpetuities, an interest must vest 21 years after the interest is created. If there is a possibility that the interest won’t vest within 21 years, then the interest is void.


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