Kurpiel v. Kurpiel Case Brief

Summary of Kurpiel v. Kurpiel, S. Ct. N. Y 1966

CREATION OF CONCURRENT ESTATES – Tenants entirety vs Joint Tenants.

Relevant Facts: Pl Joe and Df Jenny are husband and wife. Ed (df) is their son. Pl conveyed a parcel previously owned only be himself, by deed, to include “Joe Jenny and Ed jointly and not as tenants in common."

Legal Issue(s): Whether the deed conveyed a tenancy by the entirety or joint tenancy to the parties by the language?

Court’s Holding: Joint Tenants.

Procedure: Family Ct awarded exclusive physical possession to Jenny. S. Ct. granted present interest to each at one third.

Law or Rule(s): Express language within a subject deed indicates the intent of the grantor and when combined with common law authority determined interests when deed contested.

Court Rationale: The deed was prepared by an attorney. It expressly states that the named grantees were to take jointly. Were the words “jointly and not as tenants in common," omitted from the deed, the conclusion that husband and wife held one half and Ed the other would be sound. The expressed intent in the deed determines that the tenants were joint, with each having a present one third interest in the property.

Plaintiff’s Argument: The words jointly and not as tenants in common expressly indicates a joint tenancy.

Defendant’s Argument: Pl and df are tenants by the entirety of an undivided one half of the premises, not tenants in common.

Ct found a right of survivorship

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