Belin v. Stikeleather, No. 17364

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtGeorge W. Keels; OXNER; STUKES
Citation101 S.E.2d 185,232 S.C. 116
PartiesPrince BELIN, Appellant, v. C. W. STIKELEATHER, J. W. Wallace and Louise Sallenger, nee Wallace, Respondents.
Docket NumberNo. 17364
Decision Date10 December 1957

Page 185

101 S.E.2d 185
232 S.C. 116
Prince BELIN, Appellant,
v.
C. W. STIKELEATHER, J. W. Wallace and Louise Sallenger, nee
Wallace, Respondents.
No. 17364.
Supreme Court of South Carolina.
Dec. 10, 1957.

Page 186

[232 S.C. 117] William W. Bennett, Florence, Elliott D. Turnage, Darlington, for appellant.

[232 S.C. 118] George W. Keels, J. W. Wallace, Florence, for respondents.

OXNER, Justice.

[232 S.C. 119] This action was brought by the buyer, Prince Belin, to reform a written contract for the sale of real estate and for specific enforcement of the contract as reformed. Joined as defendants were C. W. Stikeleather, the seller, Louise Sallenger, his grantee, and J. W. Wallace who acted as agent of the grantee in her dealings with the plaintiff. Stikeleather demurred to the complaint on the ground that as to him it failed to state a cause of action. From an order sustaining this demurrer, there has been no appeal. The case was then referred to the Master of Florence County who after taking the testimony filed a report recommending that the relief sought by plaintiff be denied. His report was confirmed by the Circuit Judge. This appeal by the plaintiff followed. Since J. W. Wallace was only an agent of the grantee, the real contest here is between the plaintiff Belin and the defendant Mrs. Sallenger.

Plaintiff is a Negro with a sixth grade education. He served in the army approximately three years and reached the rank of corporal. He impressed the Master as being of above average intelligence. At the reference the defendants offered no testimony. We have, therefore, only that offered by the plaintiff, which may be summarized as follows:

On November 25, 1945, Stikeleather's agent took plaintiff to see a farm in Florence County and pointed out its boundaries. The agent had no plat. Plaintiff inquired as to the number of acres in the farm. The agent replied that he did not know. Plaintiff decided to purchase the property. The price agreed upon was $5,500 with a down payment of $1,000. The next day the down payment was made and plaintiff and Stikeleather entered into the following contract:

'Seller agrees to sell to buyer and to deliver fee simple title to buyer on January 1st, 1946, to property hereinafter described, and seller acknowledges receipt of the sum of One Thousand ($1,000.00) Dollars paid by buyer, sale price to be Five Thousand Five Hundred ($5,500.00) Dollars.

[232 S.C. 120] 'Buyer agrees to execute six per cent mortgage for the difference when sale is closed. The mortgage is to provide for payments of Twenty-five ($25.00) Dollars per month, in addition to interest; for the first twenty (20) months, and then the mortgage is to provide for annual curtailments to suit the buyer, and, of course, interest.

'The property covered by this contract is located in Back Swamp Township No. 3 in the County of Florence, State of South Carolina, in Woodville School District No. 2, and is all of the land on the west side of the proposed new paved highway from Florence to Cashua Ferry Bridge across the Pee Dee River, except one-half of the lands

Page 187

to the top of the hill, which are known as the swamp portion to the tract of land.'

Plaintiff testified that in signing the contract he thought the description referred to the same property pointed out to him by the seller's agent. Plaintiff entered into possession on December 26, 1945, but was never given a deed. Sometime later he reroofed and painted the dwelling, repaired the barns, fenced in the woodland and made other improvements. He said that apart from his own labor he expended between $1,000 and $1,500 in improving the property.

In May, 1946, the seller had his property surveyed. The plat showed the part cleared and that which was in woods and the property was divided into two tracts of 53.2 acres and 34.7 acres. On this plat the surveyor made the following notation: 'Map of Eighty-seven and 9/10 acres, More or Less, Surveyed at Request of J. W. Wallace. Tract 'A', Containing Approximately 53.2 Acres, is Being Sold to Prince Belin. Surveyed May 29, 1946.'

A month or two later the plat was delivered to the plaintiff. In reference to this, he testified as follows:

'Q. How did you gain possession of this plat? A. Mr. Wallace gave it to me.

'Q. When did he give it to you? A. In June or July of 1946.

[232 S.C. 121] 'Q. What purpose were you given this plat, if any? A. To show me what land I was buying.

'Q. Did someone tell you that? A. Mr. Wallace said here is a plat of the place here.'

At the reference this plat was handed to the plaintiff who testified that when the seller's agent took him out to look over the premises the boundaries shown him included the entire 87.9 acres as shown on the plat. It is the plaintiff's contention that this is what he bought and through mutual mistake of the parties the contract entered into by them did not correctly represent the property sold. He asks that the contract be reformed so as to include the entire 87.9 acres. The defendants contend that Stikeleather sold to...

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6 practice notes
  • Progressive Max Ins. Co. v. Floating Caps, Inc., No. 27293.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 7, 2013
    ...on Contracts § 70:51 (4th ed.2003) (same). “[E]ach suit for reformation stands on its own peculiar facts.” Belin v. Stikeleather, 232 S.C. 116, 123, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957) (citation omitted). “Reformation is the remedy by which writings are rectified to conform to the actual agreement o......
  • Shirey v. Bishop, Appellate Case No. 2017-001678
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 22, 2020
    ...remedy in the particular case." Adams v. Willis , 225 S.C. 518, 526, 83 S.E.2d 171, 175 (1954) ; see also Belin v. Stikeleather , 232 S.C. 116, 123, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957) ("It is elementary that the jurisdiction of equity to grant specific performance of an agreement of this ......
  • Shay v. Austin, Civil Action No. 9:05-2835-PMD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • October 19, 2006
    ...the legal remedy in:the particular case." Adams v. Willis, 225 S.C. 518, 83 S.E.2d 171, 175 (1954); see also Belin v. Stikeleather, 232 S.C. 116, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957). Thus, even if Plaintiff did not view the property before signing the Contract and had no special purpose in purc......
  • In re Moore, C/A No. 04-15363-HB (Bankr. S.C. 4/21/2008), C/A No. 04-15363-HB.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Fourth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of South Carolina
    • April 21, 2008
    ...128 (S.C. Ct. App. 1984) (citing Jumper v. Queen Mab Lumber Co., 115 S.C. 452, 106 S.E. 473 (1921)).12 See also Belin v. Stikeleather, 232 S.C. 116, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957) (a mutual mistake is one where both parties intended a certain thing and by mistake in the drafting did not get wha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
6 cases
  • Progressive Max Ins. Co. v. Floating Caps, Inc., No. 27293.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 7, 2013
    ...on Contracts § 70:51 (4th ed.2003) (same). “[E]ach suit for reformation stands on its own peculiar facts.” Belin v. Stikeleather, 232 S.C. 116, 123, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957) (citation omitted). “Reformation is the remedy by which writings are rectified to conform to the actual agreement o......
  • Shirey v. Bishop, Appellate Case No. 2017-001678
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of South Carolina
    • April 22, 2020
    ...remedy in the particular case." Adams v. Willis , 225 S.C. 518, 526, 83 S.E.2d 171, 175 (1954) ; see also Belin v. Stikeleather , 232 S.C. 116, 123, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957) ("It is elementary that the jurisdiction of equity to grant specific performance of an agreement of this ......
  • Shay v. Austin, Civil Action No. 9:05-2835-PMD.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
    • October 19, 2006
    ...the legal remedy in:the particular case." Adams v. Willis, 225 S.C. 518, 83 S.E.2d 171, 175 (1954); see also Belin v. Stikeleather, 232 S.C. 116, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957). Thus, even if Plaintiff did not view the property before signing the Contract and had no special purpose in purc......
  • In re Moore, C/A No. 04-15363-HB (Bankr. S.C. 4/21/2008), C/A No. 04-15363-HB.
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Fourth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — District of South Carolina
    • April 21, 2008
    ...128 (S.C. Ct. App. 1984) (citing Jumper v. Queen Mab Lumber Co., 115 S.C. 452, 106 S.E. 473 (1921)).12 See also Belin v. Stikeleather, 232 S.C. 116, 101 S.E.2d 185, 188 (1957) (a mutual mistake is one where both parties intended a certain thing and by mistake in the drafting did not get wha......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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