Property Keyed to Chase
Burris v. McDougald
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Winnie Elizabeth Stone deeded property to her daughter, Erna Mae Burris (defendant). Stone continued to live on the property until she died in the 1970s. In her will, Stone left her entire estate to her son. Stone’s son had a son of his own, Shannon McDougald (plaintiff). Burris did not record the deed until 1985. McDougald sued his aunt, Burris, claiming ownership of the property under theories of adverse possession and delay in recording the deed.The trial court concluded that: (1) Burris had a valid deed and (2) McDougald had not acquired title to the property by adverse possession. However, the trial court held that, as a matter of equity or fairness, the long delay in recording the deed combined with Stone’s use of the property justified making Burris and McDougald tenants in common. Burris appealed.
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