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Property Keyed to Saxer
Massey v. Prothero
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*Case Brief Anatomy includes: Brief Prologue, Complete Case Brief, Brief Epilogue
- The Brief Prologue provides necessary case brief introductory information and includes:
- Topic: Identifies the topic of law and where this case fits within your course outline.
- Parties: Identifies the cast of characters involved in the case.
- Procedural Posture & History: Shares the case history with how lower courts have ruled on the matter.
- Case Key Terms, Acts, Doctrines, etc.: A case specific Legal Term Dictionary.
- Case Doctrines, Acts, Statutes, Amendments and Treatises: Identifies and Defines Legal Authority used in this case.
- The Case Brief is the complete case summarized and authored in the traditional Law School I.R.A.C. format. The Pro case brief includes:
- Brief Facts: A Synopsis of the Facts of the case.
- Rule of Law: Identifies the Legal Principle the Court used in deciding the case.
- Facts: What are the factual circumstances that gave rise to the civil or criminal case? What is the relationship of the Parties that are involved in the case. Review the Facts of this case here:
Jonathan and Amy Barton Prothero owned a parcel of land. Both died intestate and the land was passed to their children as tenants in common. The cotenants agreed that anyone who occupied the home on the property would not pay rent but would pay property taxes and maintain the home. One of the cotenants failed to pay the property taxes while he occupied the home. The next cotenant to occupy the home, Lewis Prothero (Defendant), learned of the unpaid taxes when the county put the property up for sale in 1967. Defendant attempted to pay the taxes but was advised by the tax assessor to simply purchase the property at the tax sale. Defendant purchased the property at the tax sale for $55.01. He did not notify his cotenants of his purchase and the property was deeded to Defendant and his wife Alene as joint tenants. In 1974, Mary Prothero (Plaintiff), his sister and cotenant, told Defendant that she wished to improve the home. Defendant replied that it was not a good time. He did not tell her or the other cotenants that he had exclusive ownership of the property. It was not until May 1976, while Plaintiff was visiting the property, that he told her of his exclusive claim to the property. In 1977, Plaintiff again visited the property. Defendant instructed her to leave and threatened to call the sheriff if she returned. Soon after, Plaintiff sued Defendant and Alene to quiet title in the property in the names of all the surviving cotenants, which included Plaintiff, Defendant, Evelyn Prothero, and the heirs of Rex Prothero. The district court made five findings: (1) that Defendant purchased the property at the tax sale for the benefits of all cotenants and therefore did not take greater title than he possessed before; (2) that Alene did not obtain title against the surviving cotenants; (3) that the quiet title action was not barred by the statute of limitations; (4) that Defendant did not oust his cotenants; and (5) that Defendant and Alene were joint tenants as to a one-fourth interest in the property, and were tenants in common with Plaintiff, Evelyn, and the heirs of Rex.
- Issue(s): Lists the Questions of Law that are raised by the Facts of the case.
- Holding: Shares the Court's answer to the legal questions raised in the issue.
- Concurring / Dissenting Opinions: Includes valuable concurring or dissenting opinions and their key points.
- Reasoning and Analysis: Identifies the chain of argument(s) which led the judges to rule as they did.
- The Brief Prologue closes the case brief with important forward-looking discussion and includes:
- Policy: Identifies the Policy if any that has been established by the case.
- Court Direction: Shares where the Court went from here for this case.