Hughes v. Ephrem

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Property Law
  • Date Filed: 12-16-2015
  • Case #: A153439
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Duncan, P.J.; Lagesen, J.; & Wollheim, S.J.
  • Full Text Opinion

When assessing a defense to an action for forcible entry and detainer predicated on a quitclaim transfer of the property to another party in a life estate, the trial court must make factual findings regarding the intent of the parties at the time of the transfer.

Plaintiff appealed a judgment by the trial court finding that Defendant retained an equitable interest in property sought to be obtained in Plaintiff’s forcible entry and detainer (FED) action. Plaintiff held judgments against Defendant’s daughter and sought to execute those judgments against the property, resulting in a foreclosure action where Plaintiffs were the highest bidders. At the trial for the FED action, Defendant argued that she had a right to continued possession because she still retained an equitable interest in the property based on a life estate created by Defendant and her husband which intended to convey the property title to their daughter using a quitclaim deed after Defendant’s death—therefore, because Defendant still held an equitable interest in the property, the FED action against Defendant’s daughter as owner of the property was improper. Plaintiff appealed the judgment and argued that the trial court erred in concluding that Defendant had sufficient equitable interest in the property. On review, the Court determined that the trial court had failed to find the intent behind Defendant’s conveyance and held that if Defendant had conveyed the property intending to avoid creditors, then Defendant’s defense against the FED action was unavailable. Vacated and remanded.

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