Charles Evans BMW v. Williams Case Brief

Summary of Charles Evans BMW v. Williams (1990), Court of Appeals of GA, 395 S.E.2d 650

P, Appellant= Charles Evans BMW

D, Appellee= Williams (original owner)

Hodge= ‘scoundrel’

Procedural posture: Cross SJ motions were filed in trial court; SJ for P was denied, granted for D. P appealed.

Facts: D sold his vehicle to the Hodge and transferred the vehicle title without putting the Hodge’s name on the title. Hodge represented himself to be the seller and sold the vehicle to the P. This vehicle was later resold to a fourth party. Hodge’s check to the seller had been deemed a forgery, and the local authorities required the vehicle to be returned to the D. P retrieved vehicle from the fourth party and returned it to D. P brought a trover action against D, claiming they had obtained valid title to the vehicle because they had purchased it from Hodges in good faith (BFP).

Issues: Was appellant a good faith purchaser, thus receiving good title to the vehicle? >Yes.

Did P ‘repurchase’ the vehicle from the fourth party, knowing the goods were stolen, and thus lose its status as a BFP? >No.

Holding: Judgment reversed. P holds good title to vehicle.

Rationale: Court held that because the D had transferred his car to the first purchaser by the perpetration of criminal fraud, the title was voidable. However, when the Hodges transferred title to the P, it was transferred for value to a good faith purchaser, and thus the title became valid.

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