20 S.W. 967 (Mo. 1892), Blount v. Spratt

Citation:20 S.W. 967, 113 Mo. 48
Opinion Judge:Macfarlane, J.
Party Name:Blount, by Guardian, v. Spratt et al., Appellants
Attorney:Hall & Pike for appellants. Porter & Woodson for respondents.
Case Date:December 19, 1892
Court:Supreme Court of Missouri

Page 967

20 S.W. 967 (Mo. 1892)

113 Mo. 48

Blount, by Guardian,


Spratt et al., Appellants

Supreme Court of Missouri, Second Division

December 19, 1892

Appeal from Buchanan Circuit Court.--Hon. Henry M. Ramey, Judge.

Reversed and remanded.

Hall & Pike for appellants.

(1) The deed to Ashton was made before office found, and, as he acted in good faith and without knowledge of plaintiff's incapacity, she could not avoid the deed without tendering back the consideration received by her, or paid out for her benefit. Boyer v. Benyman, 123 Ind. 451; Copenrath v. Kienby, 83 Ind. 18; Eaton v. Eaton, 8 Vroom. (N. J.), 108; Riggan v. Green, 80 N. Car. 236; 1 Story on Equity Jurisprudence, sec. 228; 2 Pomeroy on Equity Jurisprudence, sec. 946; 11 American & English Encyclopedia of Law, 136; Wirebach v. Bank, 97 Pa. St. 549; Beals v. Lee, 10 Barr (Pa.), 56; Gibben v. Maxwell, 34 Kan. 8; Ins. Co. v. Hunt, 79 N.Y. 541; Burnham v. Kidwell, 113 Ill. 425. The amount required to pay the balance due Hubbard, it is expressly found was paid for the benefit of plaintiff, and, at least that amount should be required to be returned by her before she avoids the deed. Kneedler's Appeal, 92 Pa. St., 428. (2) The court did not separately state its conclusions of law except generally that the law of the case was with the plaintiff. However, at the conclusion of the fourth special finding of fact, the deduction is made that the plaintiff was incapable and incompetent to make a contract or deed, because of the unsoundness of mind and insanity previously stated as a finding of fact. That is not the law as an abstract proposition or as applied to this case. An insane man can convey or bind his estate to one who deals with him without knowledge of his insanity, takes no advantage of him, and pays a full consideration which manifestly goes to the benefit of the lunatic. Authorities supra.

Porter & Woodson for respondents.

(1) The evidence has not been preserved and there is nothing for the court to review. All the court's findings may be wrong and yet the decree be supported by the evidence. (2) The deed of trust is valid as to Henry P. Blount and there is nothing in the record to show and no claim is made that his lands are not amply sufficient to pay the debt. (3) When he received the $ 400 borrowed of appellant it was absolutely his, Blount's money, and he had the right to make any disposition of it he pleased, and if he chose to use part of it to discharge Hubbard's debt, equity will not subrogate appellant to Hubbard's rights simply because respondent's land was encumbered. Wilcox v. Todd, 64 Mo. 388; Bunn v. Lindsay, 95 Mo. 251; Van Winkle v. Williams, 38 N.J.Eq. 105; 1 Jones on Mortgages [3 Ed.] sec. 874a.


Page 968

[113 Mo. 50] Macfarlane, J.

This is a suit to enjoin defendants from selling under a deed of trust a tract of one hundred and twenty acres of land belonging to the plaintiff, on the ground that she was insane when she executed the deed, and it was, therefore, void.

The petition charges, in substance, that in the year 1881 plaintiff was the wife of Henry P. Blount, and was and still is the owner of one hundred and twenty acres of land (describing it), and was at that time, and ever since has been, and still is of unsound mind and wholly incapable of transacting business; that, on the twenty-seventh day of April, 1888, she joined her husband in executing a deed of trust conveying said land to defendant Spratt to secure the payment to Thomas Ashton of a note of the said Henry C. Blount for $ 400, due one year after date; [113 Mo. 51] that the said trustee was threatening a sale of said land under the power contained in said deed. An injunction was prayed, and that the deed of trust be canceled as to said land.

The answer admitted that plaintiff and Henry Blount were husband and wife, and that they executed the deed of trust to secure said note of the husband, but denied all other allegations. The answer set up affirmatively, in substance, that the land in question was bought by the husband of plaintiff, who paid in part therefor with his own means, and he and his wife executed a deed of trust on the land to secure deferred payments and that part of the money loaned, and for which the $ 400 in question was given, was used in payment of a balance due on the note given for said purchase money and secured by said first deed of trust.

After hearing the evidence, none of which is preserved by bill of exceptions, at the request of defendant the court stated in writing the conclusions of facts found as follows:

"First. Elizabeth F. Blount and Henry P. Blount were husband and wife; that on the second day of December, 1888, said Henry P. Blount died, and on the day of December, 1888, said Elizabeth F. Blount was, by the probate court of Buchanan county, Missouri, adjudged insane and incapable of managing her business affairs, and the said Wm. C. Frame was duly appointed guardian and curator of...

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