Caulk v. Caulk, No. 15981.

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
Writing for the CourtOXNER, Justice
Citation43 S.E.2d 600
PartiesCAULK. v. CAULK.
Docket NumberNo. 15981.
Decision Date09 August 1947

43 S.E.2d 600

CAULK.
v.
CAULK.

No. 15981.

Supreme Court of South Carolina.

Aug. 9, 1947.


[43 S.E.2d 601]

Appeal from Common Pleas Court, of Marlboro County; J. Woodrow Lewis, Judge.

Action by Edmond C. Caulk against Fannie Quick Caulk for specific performance of alleged oral agreement to convey property to plaintiff, wherein defendant sought to require plaintiff to account for value of building removed from the property and to pay a reasonable sum for his use and occupancy thereof. From an adverse decree, the plaintiff appeals.

Affirmed in part and in part reversed and remanded.

George W. Freeman, Jr., of Bennetts-ville, and Samuel Want, of Darlington, for appellant.

Tison & Miller, of Bennettsville, for respondent.

OXNER, Justice.

The appellant (plaintiff below) and the respondent (defendant below) are husband and wife. At an auction sale held in September, 1939, appellant purchased for $310 a tract of land containing 7.13 acres situate about four miles from Bennettsville, South Carolina, and at his request the property was conveyed to his wife. Thereafter appellant erected certain buildings hereinafter referred to on the property. Claiming that title was placed in the name of his wife under a verbal agreement that upon his request she would at any time convey the property to him and that she had declined to do so, this action was commenced on September 1, 1945 for the purpose of obtaining a decree for specific performance of the alleged agreement. Respondent denied making any such agreement, claimed

[43 S.E.2d 602]

that she owned the property together with all improvements thereon, alleged that appellant had unlawfully moved a two room house from the property, and asked that appellant be required to account for the value of the building removed and to pay a reasonable sum for his use and occupancy of the premises.

The case was heard by the Resident Judge of the Fourth Circuit. The testimony was taken before him on August 26 and September 14, 1946, and a decree filed on January 15, 1947. The Court held (1) that there was no agreement by respondent to convey the property to appellant, (2) that appellant voluntarily made the improvements thereon with full knowledge that the title was in the name of his wife, (3) that the buildings on the property and fixtures attached thereto belonged to respondent, (4) that appellant was liable for the value of the house which he removed from the premises and for the reasonable value of the use of the premises, and (5) that respondent was entitled to immediate possession. The complaint was dismissed and respondent was awarded judgment against appellant for $5203.28 which the Court found was proper compensation for the value of the building removed and for the use and occupancy of the premises. This appeal followed.

Appellant and respondent were married on January 30, 1928. They have two children, a daughter 17 years of age, now married, and a boy 14 years old. They lived together until April 25, 1943, when they separated. Respondent claims that appellant deserted her at this time. The children now reside with respondent. For a number of years appellant has operated a liquor store in the town of Bennettsville. Appellant says that on account of the unsatisfactory income from the operation of the liquor store, he decided in 1939 to also operate a grocery store and filling station and purchased the 7.13 acres in controversy with the view of conducting such business at that location. One-third of the purchase price was paid in cash and a purchase money mortgage given for the balance which appellant subsequently paid. The filling station and grocery store were erected on the premises and a mortgage given to the builder for the cost of the construction. Appellant operated the filling station and grocery store for a period of six or eight months when he decided to convert the place into a restaurant or tavern. He commenced operation of this business during the early part of 1940. The equipment for the tavern was purchased largely on credit. For awhile the tavern was operated at a loss. In 1941 the Government established an aviation training school in this area and a number of soldiers were stationed around Bennettsville. Business in general then began to prosper. There was then a considerable increase in the income from both the tavern and the liquor store. From time to time expensive equipment was installed in the tavern so that it is now elaborately furnished with all modern fixtures, including mirrors around the dining room, large electric refrigerators and complete kitchen equipment. Appellant has since been successful in all lines of his business. He purchased from time to time government bonds aggregating approximately $25,000 and at the time of the hearing in the Court below had invested more than $25,000 in his various enterprises.

Since the parties separated respondent and the children have lived in the home. There is a mortgage on it and title is in respondent's name. She has no source of income. Appellant testified that after the separation he left instructions with those in charge of the liquor store to permit his wife to draw the necessary money to support herself and the children and that she has received approximately $25 per week in addition to which he has paid the light and fuel bills and taxes, furnished his wife with a car and bought some clothing for the children. Respondent testified that for a long period of time she was only given $10 or $15 per week which was finally raised to $25. No action has ever been brought to determine the question of separate maintenance and support.

Appellant testified that at the time he purchased the property in controversy he owed considerable money which he has since paid; that he felt it would be easier to finance the cost of improving the property if title was taken in the name of his wife; that in the conduct of his new bus-

[43 S.E.2d 603]

iness he did not want to be harassed with his old obligations; and that he explained this situation to his wife who agreed to convey the property to him at any time he requested her to do so. Respondent denied that she ever made any such agreement with her husband. She testified that her husband told her he was placing title to the property in her name so that if anything happened to him, she and the children would have a place to live and to earn a livelihood. So far as the record discloses there was at this time no rift in the domestic life of this couple.

It is undisputed that appellant paid the purchase price for the land and the cost of all improvements thereon. He has also paid the taxes and insurance premiums. The tavern was operated by him. His wife worked there occasionally during emergencies and baked practically all the pies that were served. The deed to the property was promptly recorded and has since remained in possession of appellant.

The general...

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18 practice notes
  • Anderson v. Architectural Glass Constr., Inc. (In re Pfister), No. 12–2465.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 17 Abril 2014
    ...case is that the purchase was designed as a gift or advancement to the person to whom the conveyance is made.Caulk v. Caulk, 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600, 603 (1947) (internal citation omitted) (emphasis added). Here, AGC paid for property deeded to Mrs. Pfister and her husband, Mr. Pfister. ......
  • Parrott v. Parrott, No. 21712
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 26 Mayo 1982
    ...a conveyance from supporting to dependent spouse as a gift and confirmed ownership in the recipient. Caulk v. Caulk, 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600; Clanton v. Clanton, 229 S.C. 356, 92 S.E.2d 878; Stevens v. Stevens, 244 S.C. 113, 135 S.E.2d 725; Kirby v. Kirby, 270 S.C. 137, 241 S.E.2d 415. I......
  • Lollis v. Lollis, No. 22696
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 10 Marzo 1987
    ...himself and a resulting trust is raised in his behalf. Green v. Green, 237 S.C. 424, 117 S.E.2d 583 (1961); Caulk v. Caulk, 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600 (1947). When the conveyance is made to a wife or child, no such presumption arises; on the contrary, the presumption is that [291 S.C. 529] ......
  • In re Waycaster, Case Number: 20-30529-jda
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Tenth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Eastern District of Michigan
    • 18 Noviembre 2020
    ...v. Architectural Glass Construction, Inc. (In re Pfister) , 749 F.3d 294, 298 (4th Cir. 2014), quoting Caulk v. Caulk , 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600, 603 (1947). But this presumption is just that – a presumption. A resulting trust is not presumed in the face of contrary intent. For example, "......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Anderson v. Architectural Glass Constr., Inc. (In re Pfister), No. 12–2465.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 17 Abril 2014
    ...case is that the purchase was designed as a gift or advancement to the person to whom the conveyance is made.Caulk v. Caulk, 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600, 603 (1947) (internal citation omitted) (emphasis added). Here, AGC paid for property deeded to Mrs. Pfister and her husband, Mr. Pfister. ......
  • Parrott v. Parrott, No. 21712
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 26 Mayo 1982
    ...a conveyance from supporting to dependent spouse as a gift and confirmed ownership in the recipient. Caulk v. Caulk, 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600; Clanton v. Clanton, 229 S.C. 356, 92 S.E.2d 878; Stevens v. Stevens, 244 S.C. 113, 135 S.E.2d 725; Kirby v. Kirby, 270 S.C. 137, 241 S.E.2d 415. I......
  • Lollis v. Lollis, No. 22696
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • 10 Marzo 1987
    ...himself and a resulting trust is raised in his behalf. Green v. Green, 237 S.C. 424, 117 S.E.2d 583 (1961); Caulk v. Caulk, 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600 (1947). When the conveyance is made to a wife or child, no such presumption arises; on the contrary, the presumption is that [291 S.C. 529] ......
  • In re Waycaster, Case Number: 20-30529-jda
    • United States
    • United States Bankruptcy Courts. Tenth Circuit. U.S. Bankruptcy Court — Eastern District of Michigan
    • 18 Noviembre 2020
    ...v. Architectural Glass Construction, Inc. (In re Pfister) , 749 F.3d 294, 298 (4th Cir. 2014), quoting Caulk v. Caulk , 211 S.C. 57, 43 S.E.2d 600, 603 (1947). But this presumption is just that – a presumption. A resulting trust is not presumed in the face of contrary intent. For example, "......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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