Klessig v. Lea, No. 23,756.

CourtSupreme Court of Minnesota (US)
Writing for the CourtHolt
Citation158 Minn. 14
Decision Date11 January 1924
Docket NumberNo. 23,756.

Page 14

158 Minn. 14
No. 23,756.
Supreme Court of Minnesota.
January 11, 1924.

Page 15

Action in the district court for Waseca county against the administrator of the father of plaintiff and his heirs for specific performance of a contract with the father, as stated in the first paragraph of the opinion. The substance of the answer will be found in the second paragraph. The case was tried before Converse, J., who made the findings specified in the third paragraph, and ordered judgment in favor of defendant dismissing the action. From the judgment and the intermediate orders dismissing the action, denying her motion to re-open the case, her motion to amend the findings and conclusions, granting defendants' motion to amend the fourth and ninth findings of fact, and denying her motion for a new trial, plaintiff appealed. Affirmed.

Moonan & Moonan, for appellant.

A. W. Johnson, for respondents.


Plaintiff, the daughter of Louis Klessig, deceased, brings this action against the administrator of his estate and his other heirs, alleging in substance that she worked as a farm hand for her father until she was 29 years old; that he agreed to compensate her for such services out of his estate "prior to or at the time of his death;" that pursuant thereto he, in 1912, executed a deed conveying a lot he owned in New Richland to her as grantee, and delivered the deed in escrow to the judge of probate, Charles Spillane, which deed she was to receive upon the death of the grantors therein, her father and mother; that after the death of the mother, in 1918, her father obtained the deed from Spillane without plaintiff's knowledge and sold and conveyed the lot for $4,000 to an innocent purchaser for value; that the proceeds of the sale are now in the hands of defendants and constitute a trust fund "which can be traced and identified as the proceeds of the property of said real estate and constitutes a fund in the hands of said defendants which was substituted for said

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real estate so sold to an innocent purchaser." The prayer for relief is that the court specifically enforce the contract and adjudge plaintiff the owner of the property in the hands of defendants and for such other and further relief as the court sees meet.

The separate answers of the administrator and the heirs alleged that the heirs were not proper parties, and, in addition to a general denial, set forth, as a defense, a former adjudication, in that plaintiff had filed a claim for the same services against the estate of her father, which claim had been disallowed, and such disallowance affirmed on appeal to the district court and this court. In re Estate of Klessig, 153 Minn. 27, 189 N. W. 424.

The court found that pursuant to an understanding between plaintiff and her parents they executed a deed, delivering the same to Charles Spillane, conveying the lot named to plaintiff; that the deed was so delivered to Spillane without reservation, and constituted a full and complete delivery, but possession thereof was to be retained by Spillane until the death of both grantors, after which it was to be given to the plaintiff; that Spillane returned the deed to Louis Klessig after the death of the latter's wife; that thereafter on June 25, 1919, Louis Klessig conveyed the lot to August P. Nelson, which conveyance was duly recorded the same day; that the lot was reasonably worth $4,000; "that the proceeds of said sale are not now and never have been any portion of the estate of said Louis Klessig, and the same are not now and never have been in the hands of the administrator thereof;" and that defendants be dismissed with costs. Plaintiff moved for amended findings, for leave to re-open the case, and for a new trial. The motions were denied and judgment entered from which plaintiff appeals.

There are many assignments of error not discussed either in the brief or oral argument. These must be deemed waived. Others relate to rulings in the admission of evidence as to facts found in favor of appellant, and need not be considered, such, for instance, as that the deed was executed pursuant to an understanding between plaintiff...

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