Nelson v. Robinson, 41245

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Kansas
Citation184 Kan. 340,336 P.2d 415
Docket NumberNo. 41245,41245
PartiesAlbert J. NELSON, Appellee, v. M. L. ROBINSON and Katie M. Robinson, his wife, Appellants.
Decision Date07 March 1959

Page 415

336 P.2d 415
184 Kan. 340
Albert J. NELSON, Appellee,
M. L. ROBINSON and Katie M. Robinson, his wife, Appellants.
No. 41245.
Supreme Court of Kansas.
March 7, 1959.

Page 416

Syllabus by the Court

1. When a trial court, sitting as a court of equity in an action to forfeit and cancel a contract for the sale of land on a crop payment plan, has before it all the property involved, all the parties claiming rights thereto, and their respective claims, it may and should determine all rights of the parties and render an appropriate decree with respect thereto in accord with the demands of justice.

2. The record in an action such as is described in the first paragraph of this syllabus examined, in the light of the facts, conditions and circumstances set forth in the opinion, and held, to disclose no error warranting a reversal of the judgment.

Corwin C. Spencer, Oakley, argued the cause, and C. A. Spencer, Oakley, was with him on the briefs for appellants.

Leon N. Roulier, Colby, argued the cause and was on the briefs for appellee.

PARKER, Chief Justice.

This was an action to cancel a written contract for the sale and purchase, on what is commonly known as a crop payment plan, of an improved section of land in Thomas County, Kansas. The defendants appeal from an adverse judgment and the overruling of their motion for a new trial.

Page 417

The contract, executed on September 18, 1952, provided for a sale of the land in question from plaintiff, Albert J. Nelson of Thomas County, to defendants, M. L. Robinson of Lakin, Kansas, and Katie M. Robinson of Denver, Colorado, who were husband and wife, for the sum of $48,000, of which $2,000 was to be paid in cash on execution of the contract, $8,000 on or before December 31, 1952, and the balance of $38,000, with interest at four per cent per annum, by paying Nelson a one-fourth share of any and all crops grown or produced on the land, including all rentals received for pasture of livestock thereon, through a designated escrow agent.

[184 Kan. 341] The contract also provided that all payments under its terms were to be made to the escrow agent and were to be applied first to accrued interest and then to the unpaid balance of the purchase price and, if interest was not paid by crop or rental share, such interest was to be paid in any event on or before December 1st of each year; that at least two hundred acres of the land must be put into cash crop each year unless otherwise agreed by the parties; that the Robinsons should make prompt and accurate accounting to Nelson; his agent or assigns, for all crops produced on the land upon the completion of the harvest thereof and at such other times as Nelson might demand; that total payments made should not exceed the sum of $10,000 in any one calendar year; and that the Robinsons should pay all taxes lawfully levied against the real estate as and when due. It also contained express stipulations to the effect that time was of the essence of the agreement and if the Robinsons failed by pay the balance of the purchase price with interest thereon as and when it became due and payable, as therein provided, or failed to pay taxes levied against the real estate, or failed to perform any of the covenants therein required of them Nelson, at his option, could declare the contract forfeited and cancelled, in which event he would be entitled to retain all payments theretofore made under its terms as and for liquidated damages and as rental and to have returned to him the deed to the real estate, in possession of the escrow agent, whereupon the Robinsons would relinquish possession of such real estate and every part thereof without further notice of demand.

Plaintiff commenced this action on December 24, 1957, by filing a petition the sufficiency of which, from the standpoint of stating a cause of action for cancellation of the contract, is not in question. He made the contract, on which he had endorsed all payments claimed by him to have been made under its terms, a part of such pleading and, among other things, asserted he was entitled to its cancellation and forfeiture because the defendants had failed, as therein required, (1) to pay the interest due on December 1, 1957; (2) to pay the first half of taxes due on the land on December 20, 1957; (3) to make an accounting of crops produced on the land upon the completion of harvest during the crop year of 1957; and (4) to pay him the approximate sum of $958, which he alleged to be one-fourth of the amount ($3,835) received by them, as soil bank payments by reason of having placed such land in the Federal [184 Kan. 342] Acreage Reserve Program. In the prayer of the petition plaintiff asked for cancellation and forfeiture of the contract, possession of the real estate therein described, and for any and all other relief the court might deem just and equitable.

In their answer to the petition defendants admit execution of the contract attached to the petition; deny they had violated any of its terms as charged by the plaintiff; allege full performance in accord with its terms; admit making all payments endorsed on the contract; point out that such endorsements failed to include the $2,000 paid on the date of the execution of the contract; and assert that the sum total of all payments of principal and interest, made under its terms, amounted to $18,644.85.

Under further allegations of their answer defendants state that on December 30, 1957, which it is to be noted was subsequent

Page 418

to the date of the commencement of this action, they tendered and paid to the escrow agent $961.16 in payment of the balance of the 1957 interest then due but were later informed plaintiff had directed such agent not to receive that payment; assert they have paid all taxes assessed against the property from the date of the execution of the contract down to and including the last half of the 1956 taxes; disclose that on December 31, 1957 (also after the date of the commencement of the action) they paid the first half of the 1957 taxes, referred to in the petition; aver that they are now in possession of the real estate and have made lasting and valuable improvements thereon (describing them); deny...

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18 cases
  • Car-X Service Systems, Inc. v. Kidd-Heller, CAR-X
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • March 5, 1991
    ...... The district court did not believe that Kansas law was that rigid. Nor do we. In Nelson v. Robinson, 184 Kan. 340, 345, 336 P.2d 415, 420 (1959), the Kansas Supreme Court spoke as ......
  • Barnett v. Oliver, s. 68468
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of Kansas
    • August 20, 1993
    ......         The Barnetts rely on Nelson v. Robinson, 184 Kan. 340, 336 P.2d 415 (1959), as support for the trial court's decision to enter ......
  • Lewis v. Premium Inv. Corp., 25510.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of South Carolina
    • August 5, 2002
    ...v. American Roofing Supply of Colorado Springs, Inc., 919 P.2d 879 (Colo.Ct.App.1996); Ellis v. Butterfield, supra; Nelson v. Robinson, 184 Kan. 340, 336 P.2d 415 (1959); Perkins v. Penney, 387 A.2d 205 (Me.1978); Rothenberg v. Follman, 19 Mich.App. 383, 172 N.W.2d 845 (1969); O'Meara v. Ol......
  • Reno v. Beckett, 75-1496
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (10th Circuit)
    • March 14, 1977
    ......Clark, 90 Kan. 535, 135 P. 673 (1913). See also, Nelson v. Robinson, 184 Kan. 340, 336 P.2d 415 (1959). As discussed above, the elements of estoppel are ......
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