Chavez v. Chavez

Decision Date22 May 1952
Docket NumberNo. 5468,5468
Citation1952 NMSC 50,244 P.2d 781,56 N.M. 393
Parties, 30 A.L.R.2d 1236 CHAVEZ v. CHAVEZ et al.
CourtNew Mexico Supreme Court

O'Sullivan & Dunleavy and Robert Emmet Clark, Albuquerque, for appellants.

Owen B. Marron and Alfred H. McRae, Albuquerque, for appellee.

Maurice Sanchez, Albuquerque, for intervenor.

McGHEE, Justice.

The former opinion is withdrawn and the following is substituted:

In this case we have a decree foreclosing judgment liens in favor of the plaintiff and intervenor against the one-half interest of Alfonso Chavez in a tract of land in Bernalillo County.

In 1946 the defendants, who were then and are still husband and wife, purchased the realty and made a down payment of $1,000 from community funds. The wife later paid $500 on the purchase price with money given to her by her father but he was later reimbursed for the full amount from community funds. The balance was paid off monthly from community funds through two security transactions. The property was deeded to the defendants Chavez as joint tenants, and they have been in actual possession of it since the time of its purchase.

On July 23, 1948, the plaintiff herein filed suit against the defendant, Alfonso Chavez, for a tort, and on July 31 following the latter deeded his interest in the property in question to his wife, Dora Chavez, in order, as he testified and the trial court found, to prevent it being subjected to the payment of a judgment in the tort case. On January 8, 1949, the plaintiff recovered judgment against Alfonso Chavez for $3,500. The judgment was docketed immediately in the office of the County Clerk of Bernalillo County. Executions were issued on the judgment and returned nulla bona. The judgment remained unpaid and on February 4, 1950, this action was filed to foreclose such judgment lien. The United States of America was allowed to intervene as of March 1, 1950, and seek foreclosure of a judgment lien held by it against Alfonso Chavez.

The trial court found the conveyance of July 31, 1948 from Alfonso Chavez to Dora Chavez was without consideration and made for the purpose of defrauding his creditors. It was set aside and Alfonso Chavez was adjudged the owner of a one-half interest in such real property, and the judgment liens were ordered foreclosed against such interest, subject to a prior lien held by defendant Orr. We will treat the case as if the deed from Alfonso Chavez to his wife had not been made.

The property had actually been sold in the year 1937 to the State of New Mexico for delinquent taxes, and deed therefor seasonably filed for record in the office of the County Clerk and then delivered to the Tax Commission. On February 2, 1950, the defendant Dora Chavez, as one of the grantees in the deed from the former owner, exercised the preferential right of repurchase granted by Sec. 76-740, N.M.S.A.1941 Comp., by paying to the State Tax Commission the sum of $8.86 and securing its deed to the property in which she is named as the grantee.

The deed from the former owner to the defendants Chavez purported to convey a fee simple title to them and it was so treated by such grantees; but, as the property had theretofore been sold to the State of New Mexico for delinquent taxes, it actually conveyed only the preferential right of repurchase. We have held this is nothing more than a right of redemption. Langhurst v. Langhurst, 49 N.M. 329, 164 P.2d 204; Sanchez v. New Mexico State Tax Commission, 51 N.M. 154, 180 P.2d 246. In the latter case we also held valid liens existing against real property at the time of its sale to the State survive a tax sale where the former owner redeems under section 76-740, supra. The contention of the defendants Chavez that Dora Chavez secured a new title from the state when she obtained the deed from the State Tax Commission is denied.

It is a well settled principle of law that a redemption from a tax sale by one cotenant operates as a redemption for all cotenants. Smith v. Borradaile, 30 N.M. 62, 227 P. 602; 14 Am.Jur. (Cotenancy) Sec. 54, p. 123. Cf. Zaring v. Lomax, 53 N.M. 273, 206 P.2d 706. Such doctrine will be applied in this case. With the property redeemed from the tax sale the title thereto became vested in the defendants Chavez as joint tenants, each owning a half interest therein, and the judgment liens attached to the one-half interest of Alfonso Chavez.

The defendants Chavez further contend that as the money with which the redemption was made was a gift to Dora Chavez by her father this destroyed the joint tenancy of Alfonso Chavez and the entire title became vested in Dora Chavez. Alfonso Chavez owes her half of such amount, but such fact does not change the character of the...

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20 cases
  • Magraw v. Dillow
    • United States
    • Maryland Court of Appeals
    • September 1, 1995 tenants in common, thus encumbering the foreclosure title of James and Deborah as tenants by the entireties. Chavez v. Chavez, 56 N.M. 393, 396, 244 P.2d 781, 782 (1952) ("[i]t is a well settled principle of law that a redemption from a tax sale by one cotenant operates as a redemption f......
  • Swink v. Fingado
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • March 2, 1993
    ...their property from one form into the other.14 See, e.g., In re Trimble's Estate, 57 N.M. 51, 253 P.2d 805 (1953); Chavez v. Chavez, 56 N.M. 393, 244 P.2d 781 (1952); Wiggins v. Rush, 83 N.M. 133, 489 P.2d 641 (1971); Estate of Fletcher v. Jackson, 94 N.M. 572, 578, 613 P.2d 714, 720 (Ct.Ap......
  • 1998 -NMCA- 170, Macias v. Macias, 18,883
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • October 7, 1998
    ...a "clear, strong and convincing" case. Id. "[A] mere preponderance of the evidence will not suffice to effect it." Chavez v. Chavez, 56 N.M. 393, 397, 244 P.2d 781, 783 (1952). ¶13 Our courts have made clear for some time that transmutation requires evidence of intent on the part of the gra......
  • Burlingham v. Burlingham
    • United States
    • New Mexico Supreme Court
    • March 29, 1963
    ...transmuted her separate property into community property, citing Secs. 57-2-6, 57-2-12, N.M.S.A., 1953 Comp., and Chavez v. Chavez, 56 N.M. 393, 244 P.2d 781. It is true that Chavez v. Chavez, supra, overruled our previous decisions in McDonald v. Lambert, 43 N.M. 27, 85 P.2d 78, 120 A.L.R.......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
1 books & journal articles
    • United States
    • FNREL - Special Institute Drafting and Negotiating the Modern Oil and Gas Lease (FNREL)
    • Invalid date a husband's and wife's marital status without further joint tenancy language. Utah Code Ann. § 57-1-5(1). [106] See Peters v. Peters, 244 P.2d 781 (Nev. 1952). [107] Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 14-1201; [108] Such as community property or husband and wife in states recognizing tenants in the......

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