Yale Holdings, LLC v. Capital One Bank

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 05-21-2014
  • Case #: A151034
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Lagesen, J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

Summary judgment is only appropriate when the terms of a deed are unambiguous.

The dispute in this case was about a trust deed that contained an inconsistent description of the property that it encumbered. Roger Pollock (Pollock) remodeled his residence which was located solely on Parcel I, which spanned two of the three historic parcels of land. Pollock transferred his interest to plaintiff, Yale Holdings, LLC (Yale). Yale claimed that the trust deed unambiguously encumbered only former Parcel I, but Capital One claimed that the trust deed unambiguously encumbered the entirety of Tax Parcel. The question in this case was whether the issue of which property description in the trust deed controlled was susceptible to resolution on summary judgement. The general rule is that summary judgement is appropriate only if the terms are unambiguous. If one of the tax-parcel-number description was the correct one, then the trust deed encumbered the entirety of a one-of-a-kind mansion and the surrounding grounds. If the other description was correct, then the trust deed encumbered only part of the mansion and part of the surrounding grounds. However, the trial court concluded that the tax-parcel-number description controlled, and as a result, the trust deed encumbered the entirety of the mansion and grounds. The Court reversed, and concluded that the trust deed was ambiguous as to what property it encumbered, and that the trial court erred by granting summary judgement in favor of Capital One. Reversed and remanded.

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