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Hammond v. Hammond

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 12-07-2011
Case #: A146124
Hadlock, J. for the Court; Ortega P.J.; & Sercombe J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/A146124.pdf

Property Law: In a 1985 deed conveying title, "as survivor," is an ambiguous term and should be interpreted using extrinsic evidence to determine the parties' intent.

Sherman Hammond and Jerome Hammond, respondents, argued that a 1985 deed from their mother conveyed title of real property to Sherman. Michael Hammond, petitioner, argued that their mother's May 2000 will divided interest in the real property to all three of her sons. Sherman argued the 1985 deed created a tenancy in common, in a life estate with cross-contingent remainders through the term, "as survivor." The Court held the deed ambiguous as a matter of law and found that at the time the deed was created, the statute required a deed to contain a single conveyance to two or more grantees to create a tenancy in common with right of survivorship. In this case, the 1985 deed did not convey real property to two or more persons, nor did it name survivorship rights in more than one grantee. Further, the Court held that when a deed is ambiguous the court examine extrinsic evidence to determine the parties’ intent. Reversed and Remanded.