Pressly v. Walker

Decision Date02 December 1953
Docket NumberNo. 524,524
Citation78 S.E.2d 920,238 N.C. 732
PartiesPRESSLY et al. v. WALKER et al.
CourtNorth Carolina Supreme Court

G. T. Carswell and Henry E. Fisher, Charlotte, for plaintiffs, appellees.

Helms & Mulliss, John D. Hicks, McDougle, Ervin, Horack & Snepp, Charlotte, for defendants, appellants.

DEVIN, Chief Justice.

It is a familiar rule that pleadings are to be given liberal construction in favor of the pleader, and that a complaint may not be overthrown by a demurrer unless it be fatally defective. Hollifield v. Everhart, 237 N.C. 313, 74 S.E.2d 706 ; Bumgardner v. Allison Fence Co., 236 N.C. 698, 74 S.E. 2d 32; Blackmore v. Winders, 144 N.C. 212, 56 S.E.874.

A demurrer admits the truth of all relevant facts well pleaded but does not admit conclusions of law asserted by the pleader. McKinney v. City of High Point, 237 N.C. 66, 74 S.E.2d 440; Wiscassett Mills Co. v. Shaw, 233 N.C. 71, 62 S.E.2d 487.

It is alleged that Dr. Pressly and others are trustees of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Synod and under the rules of the church, as the governing board, hold real estate for the benefit of local congregations which are members of that denomination; and that John M. Hunter, Jr., and others are trustees of Sardis Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, and said trustees hold title to certain described real property for the benefit of the local church and for the trustees of Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church. For convenience the name of the church body represented by plaintiffs as trustees will be referred to as the ARP Church.

It is alleged that defendants E. H. Walker and others are trustees of Sardis Presbyterian Church.

It is alleged that the real property described has been owned and used by ARP Church and its congregation for many years, until July 1952, when some of the members of Sardis ARP Church transferred their membership to Sardis Presbyterian Church and sought to transfer the property belonging to plaintiffs by appointing the defendants trustees of Sardis Presbyterian Church and occupying and using the property of plaintiffs.

Plaintiffs allege that the defendants are contending that title to the property followed the transfer of Membership to the Sardis Presbyterian Church, and have laid claim to the property and to the ownership and control thereof as if they had title to the same.

It is alleged that the defendants are wrongfully in possession of said property; that a number of the members of the church did not transfer their membership but remained loyal to the denomination known as ARP; that defendants' claim of title to ssid property for the congregation of said Sardis Presbyterian Church is wrongful and the possession of said church property and use thereof is wrongful and illegal, for that title to this property is in the plaintiffs, trustees of ARP Church and of Sardis ARP Church; that this action is to remove cloud on the title of plaintiffs to this property and for the possession of the property which belongs to the loyal members of Sardis ARP Church, the title thereto being held by plaintiffs, trustees.

While the plaintiffs allege title and right of possession and use of the property in themselves as trustees, and that the defendants acting as trustees of a different denomination or schism, are in possession of the property and claim ownership and right to control and use the property, the statute seems to authorize one owning real...

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11 cases
  • Hayes v. Ricard
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 26 Junio 1956
    ...that the plaintiff is owner and that defendants actually have no interest but are attempting to assert an interest. In Pressly v. Walker, 238 N.C. 732, 78 S.E.2d 920, the plaintiffs alleged that as trustees of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod they are entitled to hold church property for the......
  • Nationwide Mut. Ins. Co. v. Don Allen Chevrolet Co., 245
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 2 Noviembre 1960
    ...modified amended complaint. The rules applicable in a hearing on demurrer have been often stated and are well settled. Pressly v. Walker, 238 N.C. 732, 78 S.E.2d 920; Buchanan v. Smawley, 246 N.C. 592, 595, 99 S.E.2d 787. Our task is to determine whether the facts alleged, liberally constru......
  • Edwards v. Batts
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 27 Marzo 1957
    ...for other defendants-appellees. BOBBITT, Justice. Decision must be based on the relevant facts alleged by plaintiffs. Pressly v. Walker, 238 N.C. 732, 78 S.E.2d 920. Plaintiffs' conclusions of law are not admitted by the demurrers. McKinney v. City of High Point, 237 N.C. 66, 74 S.E.2d A de......
  • Adams v. Flora MacDonald College
    • United States
    • North Carolina Supreme Court
    • 31 Enero 1958
    ...The demurrer tests the sufficiency of the complaint. The rules applicable have been often stated and are well settled. Pressly v. Walker, 238 N.C. 732, 78 S.E.2d 920, and cases cited. Our task is to determine whether plaintiffs, upon the facts alleged, liberally construed in their favor, ha......
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