Miller v. Davis

CourtSupreme Court of Alabama
Citation423 So.2d 1354
PartiesJuanita MILLER v. Rosa Bird DAVIS. 81-609.
Decision Date22 October 1982

Page 1354

423 So.2d 1354
Juanita MILLER
Rosa Bird DAVIS.
Supreme Court of Alabama.
Oct. 22, 1982.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 22, 1982.

Page 1355

Joseph W. Adams, Birmingham, for appellant.

John T. Roach, Jr., Birmingham, for appellee.

BEATTY, Justice.

The plaintiff appeals from denial of her prayer for cancellation of a deed. We affirm.

The plaintiff, Juanita Miller a/k/a Juanita Seltzer, owned a house and lot as tenant in common with her stepsister, Rosa Lee Davis. On October 10, 1972, they conveyed this property to Rosa Bird Davis, who is Rosa Lee's mother and Juanita's stepmother. The following allegations appear in plaintiff's complaint:

"3. That prior to October 10, 1972, the defendant, who was in exclusive possession of the premises, represented to the plaintiff that the house was in need of repairs, and requested that the plaintiff sign the necessary papers so that the defendant could borrow such sums as were necessary to make such repairs.

"4. That plaintiff as an accommodation to the defendant and without any consideration executed to the defendant a warranty deed to said property.

"5. That no sums of money were borrowed by the defendant to make any repairs on the premises. That it was not the intention of the parties that the plaintiff would make a gift of her interest in the property to the defendant.

"6. That the plaintiff relied upon the representations made by the defendant that the sole purpose for the execution of the deed of October 10, 1972, was to permit the defendant to repair the premises, and the plaintiff relying on such representation executed said deed."

The plaintiff brought the present action in 1981, several months after she discovered that she had signed the deed in question.

The case was tried ore tenus without a court reporter. As reflected in the statement of the evidence filed under Alabama Rules of Appellate Procedure 10(d), the parties testimony included the following additional points. The plaintiff testified that the defendant's grandson James spoke to her about signing the papers and accompanied her to the attorney's office. She did not read what she signed because she did not have her glasses. The defendant testified that she never discussed the matter with plaintiff and did not tell James to have the plaintiff sign the papers. She understood from the beginning that the property was being conveyed to her.

In denying relief to the plaintiff, the trial court noted:

"At the time she executed the Warranty Deed, the Plaintiff could read and was capable of understanding the nature of the instrument she was signing. The Court finds that there was no undue influence or fraud involved in the execution of the Warranty Deed.

Page 1356

"In the opinion of the Court, this case is controlled by the principles set out in the cases of Taylor v. Godsey, 357 So.2d 979 (Ala.1978) and Ingram v. Horn, [294 Ala. 353], 317 So.2d 485 (Ala.1975)...."

The plaintiff then moved for rehearing and filed an amendment to the complaint, consisting of the following addition: "That the deed was executed by the plaintiff by mutual mistake of the parties." The trial court denied rehearing but allowed the amendment to the...

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3 cases
  • Hollis v. Cameron
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 14 December 1990
    ...T. 47, § 136)." Cancellation of a deed, as well as revision or reformation, is a permissible remedy under this statute. Miller v. Davis, 423 So.2d 1354 (Ala.1982); Garnett v. Taunton, 264 Ala. 293, 87 So.2d 425 This Court has stated: Page 441 " 'For an instrument to be reformed, there must ......
  • Sheffield v. Buxton
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 21 April 1989
    ...omitted). In an action for reformation, "the plaintiff bears the burden of proof by clear and convincing evidence." Miller v. Davis, 423 So.2d 1354, 1355 Five witnesses testified at the ore tenus trial, including Buxton, Sheffield, and Wyman Gilmore, Ida Buxton's attorney during the negotia......
  • Davis v. Weatherington
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Alabama
    • 18 September 1987
    ...the cancellation of a deed is permissible when there exists a mutual mistake between the parties to the conveyance. Miller v. Davis, 423 So.2d 1354 (Ala.1982). In the instant case, no evidence of mutual mistake was Although the trial court made no specific findings of fact, this Court will ......

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