Workman v. Douglas, No. 1-980A251

Docket NºNo. 1-980A251
Citation419 N.E.2d 1340
Case DateMay 12, 1981
CourtCourt of Appeals of Indiana

Page 1340

419 N.E.2d 1340
Buford WORKMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Betty DOUGLAS, Defendant-Appellee,
and
Steven R. Douglas, Third Party Defendant-Appellee.
No. 1-980A251.
Court of Appeals of Indiana, First District.
May 12, 1981.

Page 1341

Robert L. Dalmbert, Dalmbert & Marshall, Columbus, for plaintiff-appellant.

Richard S. Eynon, Columbus, for defendant-appellee.

NEAL, Presiding Judge.

This is an appeal by plaintiff-appellant Buford Workman (Workman) from a judgment in the Bartholomew Circuit Court in favor of a counterclaim filed by defendant-appellee Betty Douglas (Betty) on a theory of a resulting trust.

We reverse.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

Steven and Betty Douglas were a young married couple desiring a better home. Being unable to finance a new home, they approached Buford Workman, a friend with whom Steve had lived as a child, to solicit his aid. Workman purchased a home from Mr. and Mrs. John Ritzenthaler for $15,000; and title was recorded in Workman's name on April 5, 1974. He made a $3,000 down payment and obtained a mortgage from a financial institution for $12,000 at 8.5 percent interest, payable over 25 years with monthly payments of $96.80. Without drawing a contract or any other writing, Steven and Betty moved into the home. Though Workman contended the transaction between himself and Steven and Betty was a rental, they testified it was their impression, based upon all the conversations, with Workman, they had contracted orally to buy the house for $96.80 per month for 25 years, at which time it would be legally theirs. Steven and Betty testified they understood the purchase price to be $15,000; however, the record is silent as to how they had decided to pay back Workman's $3,000 down payment, if at all. Calculation reveals that the payment of $96.80 per month for 25 years would retire only the $12,000 loan. No mention is made in the record of the payment of taxes, repair, insurance on the property or the rights of the parties in the event of a default. Steven and Betty never insured the house, but claimed they paid taxes on it for two years, and then, for obscure reasons, ceased. The evidence does not disclose Steven and Betty ever made a down payment on the home at or prior to the time Workman took title on April 5, 1974.

Page 1342

In 1979, Steven and Betty were divorced, and Betty received the property pursuant to the divorce decree. At this time they were in arrears on the $96.80 monthly payments in the approximate amount of $1,152. Workman filed suit for the rent arrearages, damages in the amount of $270, and possession of the real estate. Betty filed a counterclaim upon a theory of a resulting trust under Ind.Code 30-1-9-8 alleging there was an oral contract to purchase the home for $15,000, payment of $1,000 down, and $96.80 per month for 25 years with interest at 73/4 percent. In the prayer of her complaint, Betty asked the trial court to declare a resulting trust, constructive trust, or to issue an order estopping Workman from denying the contract.

Upon a trial before the court, special findings of facts and conclusions of law were entered in which the trial court found as follows: 1) that an oral contract of sale existed, 2) that Steven and Betty had paid valuable consideration, 3) that Workman had given a mortgage on the property for $12,000 to be paid in 25 years at $96.00 per month, and 4) that Steven and Betty, upon making those payments, were to receive the property. The trial court's findings Nos. 11, 12, and 13, its conclusions, and judgment are set out verbatim as follows:

"11. Burford V. Workman should be estopped from refuting the April, 1974 agreement he entered into with the Douglases, and a resultant trust should be found to have arisen in favor of Betty Douglas concerning her continued status as a purchaser of the subject real estate and the identification of Buford V. Workman as vendor of the same;

12. The parties should be ordered to enter into a written contract for the sale of the subject real estate by Workman to Betty Douglas, provided that Betty Douglas shall first pay to Buford V. Workman on or before the 2nd day of May, 1980, the sum of Fifteen Hundred Twenty nine Dollars Thirty Five cents ($1,529.35) and make a payment of Ninety-six Dollars ($96.00) on or before May 5, 1980, and if Betty Douglas shall fail to make such payments when the same are due, then Burford V. Workman should have judgment for such sums and be entitled to immediate possession of the subject real estate;

13. The contract for the sale of the subject real estate should be prepared in a form similar to that published by the Indianapolis Bar Association or the Allen County, Indiana, Bar Association, and the contract should call for payment of real estate taxes by the vendor and insurance of the dwelling house by the purchaser in an amount of at least Eighty-five percent (85%) of the replacement costs of the subject dwelling house, and the terms of the sale should be set down as a balance owed of Ten Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy-one Dollars Forty-eight Cents ($10,971.48) to be paid in equal monthly installments of Ninety-six Dollars ($96.00) principal and interest included, at an annual percentage rate of eight-and-one-half percent (81/2), such payments to continue over approximately Two Hundred Thirty-five (235) months, with the first such payments to be made on or before June 5, 1980.

IT IS THEREFORE, ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED as follows:

1. Buford V. Workman, plaintiff herein, shall have judgment against Betty Douglas, defendant herein, for the sum of Fifteen Hundred Twenty-nine Dollars and thirty-five Cents ($1,529.35) on the 2nd day of May, 1980, and for the sum of Ninety-six Dollars ($96.00) on the 5th day of May, 1980, and possession of the following described real estate more commonly known as 1904 Keller Avenue, Columbus, Indiana:

Lot Numbered One Hundred Twenty-two (122) in George W. Caldwell's Addition to the City of Columbus, Bartholomew County, State of Indiana.

2. However, if Betty Douglas shall pay such hereinabove described sums to Buford V. Workman on or before the respective dates the same are due, then she shall be entitled to remain in possession of the subject real estate and the parties shall enter into a written contract for the sale of the real estate by Buford V. Workman to Betty Douglas, which contract

Page 1343

shall be subject to approval by the Court and shall be in a form similar to that published by the Indianapolis Bar Associate (sic) or the Allen County Bar Association, and which contract shall provide for payment of real estate taxes by the vendor and insurance of the subject property in an amount equal to at least Eighty-five percent (85%) of its replacement cost value by the purchaser, and which purchase price shall be set down at Ten Thousand Nine Hundred Seventy-one Dollars Forty-eight Cents ($10,971.48) with payments thereon to be made in equal monthly installments of Ninety-six Dollars ($96.00), consisting of principal and interest, with interest at an annual rate of Eight-and-one-half percent (81/2%), such payments to continue for approximately Two Hundred Thirty-five (235) months, or until the purchase price is paid."
ISSUES

Workman presents four issues for review wherein he contends:

I. The trial court erred in finding that the parties entered into an oral contract and that the...

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18 practice notes
  • Presbytery of Ohio Valley, Inc. v. OPC, Inc., No. 82S02–1105–MF–314.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 23, 2012
    ...See id. And, as in the case of express trusts, the party seeking to impose the trust bears the burden of proof. See Workman v. Douglas, 419 N.E.2d 1340, 1345 (Ind.Ct.App.1981), trans. not sought. As with express trusts, the settlor's intent is crucial to the resulting trust analysis. Flying......
  • Presbytery of Ohio Valley, Inc. v. OPC, Inc., No. 82S02-1105-MF-314
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • July 31, 2012
    ...See id. And, as in the case of express trusts, the party seeking to impose the trust bears the burden of proof. See Workman v. Douglas, 419 N.E.2d 1340, 1345 (Ind. Ct. App. 1981), trans. not sought. As with express trusts, the settlor's intent is crucial to the resulting trust analysis. Fly......
  • Mead Johnson and Co. v. Oppenheimer, No. 1-883A264
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • January 16, 1984
    ...professing to construe it. Gaw v. LaPorte Corporation, (1956) 126 Ind.App. 143, 130 N.E.2d 790; see Workman v. Douglas, (1981) Ind.App., 419 N.E.2d 1340; see also, 17A C.J.S. Contracts Sec. 296(3). An employment contract is no different. If the tenure is indefinite, the contract is unenforc......
  • Wolvos v. Meyer, No. 71S05-9503-CV-376
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • July 12, 1996
    ...court would erroneously fill too many gaps which were left open by the parties. She cites the following language in Workman v. Douglas, 419 N.E.2d 1340 (Ind.Ct.App.1981), as support for this Closely allied to the matter of a contract too indefinite to enforce is the issue of the court's ord......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Presbytery of Ohio Valley, Inc. v. OPC, Inc., No. 82S02–1105–MF–314.
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • October 23, 2012
    ...See id. And, as in the case of express trusts, the party seeking to impose the trust bears the burden of proof. See Workman v. Douglas, 419 N.E.2d 1340, 1345 (Ind.Ct.App.1981), trans. not sought. As with express trusts, the settlor's intent is crucial to the resulting trust analysis. Flying......
  • Presbytery of Ohio Valley, Inc. v. OPC, Inc., No. 82S02-1105-MF-314
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • July 31, 2012
    ...See id. And, as in the case of express trusts, the party seeking to impose the trust bears the burden of proof. See Workman v. Douglas, 419 N.E.2d 1340, 1345 (Ind. Ct. App. 1981), trans. not sought. As with express trusts, the settlor's intent is crucial to the resulting trust analysis. Fly......
  • Mead Johnson and Co. v. Oppenheimer, No. 1-883A264
    • United States
    • Indiana Court of Appeals of Indiana
    • January 16, 1984
    ...professing to construe it. Gaw v. LaPorte Corporation, (1956) 126 Ind.App. 143, 130 N.E.2d 790; see Workman v. Douglas, (1981) Ind.App., 419 N.E.2d 1340; see also, 17A C.J.S. Contracts Sec. 296(3). An employment contract is no different. If the tenure is indefinite, the contract is unenforc......
  • Wolvos v. Meyer, No. 71S05-9503-CV-376
    • United States
    • Indiana Supreme Court of Indiana
    • July 12, 1996
    ...court would erroneously fill too many gaps which were left open by the parties. She cites the following language in Workman v. Douglas, 419 N.E.2d 1340 (Ind.Ct.App.1981), as support for this Closely allied to the matter of a contract too indefinite to enforce is the issue of the court's ord......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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