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Property Keyed to Sprankling
Cole v. Steinlauf
Citation:136 A.2d 744 (1957).
The Coles (plaintiffs) entered into a contract with Steinlauf (defendant) for the sale of real estate. The plaintiffs were the buyers and the defendant was the seller. The contract stated that if the defendant did not deliver marketable title to the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs were entitled to rejection of the defendant’s deed and repayment of any deposits, fees, and reasonable expenses incurred. The plaintiffs paid the defendant a $420 deposit and employed an attorney to examine the title for defects. The plaintiffs’ attorney discovered a defect in the title. A deed had been executed in New York in 1945 to a predecessor in title to the defendant which listed the deed as running to the grantee “and assigns forever.” This language is insufficient to create a fee simple absolute in Connecticut, where the word “heirs” is required for such a creation. On this ground, the plaintiffs refused to accept the defendant’s deed and demanded return of their deposit and expenses for the title search ($50). The defendant refused these demands.
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