Silloway v. Jorgenson, 10915

Decision Date04 October 1965
Docket NumberNo. 10915,10915
Citation146 Mont. 307,406 P.2d 167
PartiesKarl C. SILLOWAY, Administrator of the Estate of Katherine M. Silloway, Deceased, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Louis Kenneth JORGENSON and Mary M. Jorgenson, his wife, Defendants and Respondents.
CourtMontana Supreme Court

Sorenson & Synder, Stanley P. Sorenson (argued), Helena, for appellant.

Angland & Marra, Joseph R. Marra (argued), Great Falls, for respondents.

JAMES T. HARRISON, Chief Justice.

This is an appeal from a judgment entered following an order granting summary judgment in an action brought by plaintiff-appellant Karl C. Silloway, Administrator of the Estate of Katherine M. Silloway, deceased, against defendants-respondents Louis Kenneth Jorgenson and Mary Jorgenson, his wife, in the District Court of the First Judicial District of the State of Montana in and for the County of Lewis and Clark.

The complaint alleges that on August 1, 1960, the deceased Katherine M. Silloway, executed a deed in favor of the Jorgensons covering certain real property located in Lincoln, Montana; that such conveyance recites a consideration of one dollar; that such conveyance was induced through promises of the defendants to care and provide for Karl C. Silloway, the husband of Katherine M. Silloway, for the remainder of his life; that the defendants have not cared or provided for him; that at the time of the transfer, Katherine M. Silloway was mentally incompetent and incapable of making a valid deed and transfer of her property; and that said conveyance was induced through the false and fraudulent representations, artifice and undue influence of the defendants.

The complaint prayed for the cancellation of the deed and the reconveyance of the property to the plaintiff.

The record shows that on August 1, 1960, Mrs. Silloway deeded property in Lincoln, Montana, to the Jorgensons. Mr. Karl C. Silloway was at all times present during this transaction. At no time did he raise any objection or suggestion either to the conveyance or to the clauses contained in the deed. Mrs. Silloway died 48 days after the conveyance, on September 17 1960. This action was brought by Mr. Silloway nearly a year after the original probate of Mrs. Silloway's estate was closed. The record further shows that the Silloway family and the Jorgenson family had for many years been close friends, each visiting the other frequently.

The only question having merit in this case is whether the trial court erred in granting summary judgment for the defendants where the plaintiff--as husband and Administrator of his deceased wife's estate--asks for rescission of a deed made by her to the defendants on the ground of her mental incompetence at the time the deed was executed when no medical evidence was before the court.

The other claims set forth by plaintiff--undue influence and misrepresentations--have no basis in fact and are without merit. The plaintiff's deposition denudes these claims of any validity.

The plaintiff claims that, at the time, Mrs. Silloway was without sufficient mental capacity to execute the deed. The only evidence proving or disproving this claim which was before the court were the depositions of Mr. Silloway, Mr. Jorgenson and Mrs. Jorgenson. No medical evidence was filed with the court. The plaintiff argues on appeal that this very lack of medical evidence raises an 'inference' that the issue of incompetency is one of material fact demanding trial and voiding summary judgment procedure.

Rule 56, M.R.Civ.P., states in parts pertinent:

'(b) For Defending Party. A party against whom a claim, counterclaim, or cross-claim is asserted or a declaratory judgment is sought may, at any time, move for a summary judgment in his favor as to all or any part thereof.

'(c) Motion and Proceedings Thereon. The motion shall be served at least 10 days before the time fixed for the hearing. The judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the pleadings, depositions, and admissions on file show that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. * * *' (Emphasis ours.)

The general purpose of Rule 56 is to promptly dispose of actions in which there is no genuine issue of fact, thereby eliminating unnecessary trial, delay, and expense. 6 Moore Fed.Prac.2d, § 56.11, page 2057 further states:

'A summary judgment is a judgment in bar that results from an application of substantive law to facts that are established beyond reasonable controversy. The purpose of the hearing on the motion for such a judgment is not to resolve factual issues. It is to determine whether there is any genuine issue of material fact in dispute; and if not, to render judgment in accordance with the law as applied to the established facts.'

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33 cases
  • Heiat v. Eastern Montana College
    • United States
    • Montana Supreme Court
    • 4 Marzo 1996
    ...actions in which there is no genuine issue of fact, thereby eliminating unnecessary trial, delay and expense." Silloway v. Jorgenson, (1965), 146 Mont. 307, 310, 406 P.2d 167, 169. "[T]he purpose of summary judgment is to encourage judicial economy by eliminating unnecessary trials...." Col......
  • Rumph v. Dale Edwards, Inc.
    • United States
    • Montana Supreme Court
    • 6 Junio 1979
    ...is to encourage judicial economy through the prompt elimination of questions not deserving of resolution by trial. Silloway v. Jorgenson (1965), 146 Mont. 307, 406 P.2d 167. While the initial burden of proof must attach to the moving party, that burden shifts where the record discloses no g......
  • Anaconda Co. v. General Acc. Fire & Life Assur. Corp., Ltd.
    • United States
    • Montana Supreme Court
    • 29 Septiembre 1980
    ...The purpose of a motion for summary judgment under Rule 56, is to eliminate unnecessary trial, delay, and expense. Silloway v. Jorgenson (1965), 146 Mont. 307, 406 P.2d 167. Under a motion for summary judgment, the formal issues presented by the pleadings are not controlling and the court m......
  • Sevalstad v. Glaus, 86-288
    • United States
    • Montana Supreme Court
    • 26 Junio 1987
    ...gauzy or merely suspicious." Westlake v. Osborne (Mont.1986), 713 P.2d 548, 550, 43 St.Rep. 200, citing Silloway v. Jorgenson (1965), 146 Mont. 307, 310, 406 P.2d 167. Implications based on appellant's allegations are not enough to sustain a motion for summary judgment. Cheyenne Western Ban......
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