139 S.E. 161 (S.C. 1927), 12257, Crayton v. Fowler

Docket Nº:12257.
Citation:139 S.E. 161, 140 S.C. 517
Opinion Judge:BLEASE, J.
Attorney:Sullivan & Sullivan and Watkins & Prince, all of Anderson, for appellant. A. H. Dagnall and Greene & Earle, all of Anderson, for respondent.
Case Date:August 26, 1927
Court:Supreme Court of South Carolina

Page 161

139 S.E. 161 (S.C. 1927)

140 S.C. 517




No. 12257.

Supreme Court of South Carolina

August 26, 1927

Trustee whose investment of trust fund in note and mortgage was a departure from the express direction of the deed creating the trust held personally responsible for resulting loss, though such mismanagement was not willful or prompted by improper motives.

It is a general rule that when a trustee departs from the directions contained in the trust instrument he is liable for any loss occasioned, irrespective of good faith or his best judgment.

Trustee's improper investment of trust funds in note and mortgage in violation of directions contained in trust deed held not ground for removal, in view of his good faith, though bond conditioned on faithful discharge of duties was thereafter required.

Appeal from Common Pleas Circuit Court of Anderson County; S.W. G. Shipp, Judge.

Suit by Sallie C. Crayton against J. S. Fowler, individually and as trustee. Decree for plaintiff, and defendant appeals. Affirmed.

[140 S.C. 518] The following is the decree of Judge Shipp:

Cothran, J., and Watts, C.J., dissenting.

Page 162

Sullivan & Sullivan and Watkins & Prince, all of Anderson, for appellant.

A. H. Dagnall and Greene & Earle, all of Anderson, for respondent.


The decree of Hon. S.W. G. Shipp, circuit judge, in this cause, which will be reported, is entirely satisfactory to this court.

It is the judgment of this court that all the exceptions be overruled, and that the decree of the lower court be and the same is hereby affirmed.

STABLER, J., concurs.

CARTER, J., concurs in result.

COTHRAN, J. (dissenting).

I am not in favor of affirming the decree of his honor Judge Shipp in this case for the reasons stated by him. On the contrary, I think that the decree should be reversed, and that the case should be remanded for the purpose of determining certain important issues which have not been passed upon, as indicated below.

The action was instituted for the purpose of having the defendant, J. S. Fowler, as trustee, account to the plaintiff for the income alleged to have accrued and become due to her and for the proceeds of the sales of certain portions of the trust property made by him.

[140 S.C. 523] It appears that prior to January 1, 1898, the defendant owned a tract of land in Rock Mills township of Anderson county, known as the "Frank White place," containing 290 acres more or less. On or about that date he conveyed said tract of land to his wife, Hortense C. Fowler, absolutely in fee simple.

On January 1, 1898, the conveyance last referred to having evidently been made for that purpose, Hortense C. Fowler conveyed the tract of 290 acres to the defendant, J. S. Fowler, as trustee, in trust for the purposes mentioned in the deed. (The terms of the trust are set forth in the second paragraph of the complaint, and will be incorporated in the report of the case.) Briefly stated, the trustee was given the "entire control and management of said premises"; he was directed to pay annually to the plaintiff, Mrs. Sallie C. Crayton, a daughter of Mrs. Fowler by a former marriage, the net issues, rents, and profits of the premises, during her natural life with provision therefor after her death, and for the sale of the land at a certain time...

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