39 Cal.App.2d 118, 6282, Stromerson v. Averill

Docket Nº:6282
Citation:39 Cal.App.2d 118, 102 P.2d 571
Party Name:Stromerson v. Averill
Case Date:May 15, 1940
Court:California Court of Appeals
 
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Page 118

39 Cal.App.2d 118

102 P.2d 571

H. C. STROMERSON et al., Respondents,

v.

ROGER AVERILL, Appellant.

Civ. No. 6282.

California Court of Appeal, Third District

May 15, 1940

Page 119

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 120

COUNSEL

L. N. Barber, David E. Peckinpah and Barcroft &amp Barcroft for Appellant. Conley, Conley &amp Conley for Respondents

OPINION

[102 P.2d 572] Lemmon, J., pro tem.

This action was brought to quiet plaintiffs' title to real property. Defendant answered, denying the material allegations in the complaint. From a judgment adverse to him, defendant appeals.

Plaintiff, H. C. Stromerson, and defendant Roger Averill, had been friends for many years, the friendship beginning in 1915 or 1916 when they both resided in Idaho. In 1933 Averill was engaged in farming in Madera County. He persuaded or encouraged Stromerson to come from Los Angeles, where he then lived, to Madera for the purpose of farming the real property here in dispute. The evidence is in sharp conflict as to whether the property was puchased in the name of Stromerson under circumstances from which the conclusion is to be drawn that title is held by Stromerson in trust for Averill or that Averill's participation in the financing of the purchase and the farming of the property was purely gratuitous and an expression of the friendship between the two.

The real property was purchased under a contract dated November 1, 1933, in which Stromerson is the purchaser, and

Page 121

Miller & Lux Incorporated, is the seller. According to Stromerson, Averill wanted him to come to Madera, and stated, "he had a piece of land that he could buy for me, that he had all of the land that he wanted and was not in a position to buy this place." The initial or down payment was borrowed by Averill from the San Joaquin Cotton Oil Co., and was charged by that company to Averill. Averill was reported as having stated at the time the contract was being negotiated the land was being bought for a "friend". Upon the contract is endorsed an assignment thereof, the name of the assignee not being filled in. This assignment bears Stromerson's signature. This phase of the transaction is explained as a compliance with the requirement of the lender as a [102 P.2d 573] condition to the financing of the purchase. The contract so assigned was deposited with and kept by that company as security. The same company financed the operations on the farm for that and the succeeding years. Some of the applications for loans were made by Stromerson, and some by Averill, but Averill's guarantee was required in each instance. Early in 1934, the company charged Stromerson's account with all advances previously charged to Averill's account and credited Averill's account with the total of those advances. At the end of that year's season, the proceeds from the year's operations were credited by the company to Stromerson and those proceeds were sufficient to liquidate the Averill account. On November 27, 1933, Stromerson and his wife, Leone, executed a quit claim deed conveying the real property in question to Averill. Stromerson states that Averill "told Leone and I that it was a quit claim deed by us in trust only, he says that he experienced hazards and automobile accidents and one thing and another, and that the only reason that he wanted it was if ever we both got killed or either one of us, that he might have some...

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