Sabo v. Horvath Case Brief

Summary of Sabo v. Horvath, S. Ct. of Alaska 1976

Facts: Lowery conveyed the same 5 acre tract of land twice; first to Horvath, then Sabo. Lowery did so in each instance by quit-claim deed. Lowery’s interest originated out of a land patent. He conveyed the land to Horvath prior to receiving the patent and to Sabo afterward.

Issue: Whether land conveyed before land patent was issued, outside the chain of title, satisfied the constructive notice requirement to the subsequent purchaser?

Holding: No

Procedure: Superior ct ruled for Horvath’s interest as a warranty deed from Lowery. This constituted constructive notice. Sabo did not receive constructive notice. Recording was outside the chain of title. Reversed.

Rule: Conveyance of real property is void as against a subsequent innocent purchaser for a valuable consideration of the property whose conveyance is first duly recorded. An unrecorded instrument is valid as against one who has actual notice of it. A purchaser has notice only of recorded instruments that are within his chain of title.

Ct. Rationale: At the time Lowery executed the deed to the Horvaths he had complied with the statute to a sufficient extent so as to have an interest in the land which was capable of conveyance. Because the Horvaths recorded their deed prior to Lowery receipt of the land patent, Sabos did not have constructive notice by the recording system. Sabo’s interest was therefore the first recorded interest in the tract of land.

PL A: (Horvath) Pl recorded the deed in accordance with the law, prior to the conveyance and recording of Def.

Def A: The deed was not recorded before the land patent was granted, and therefore the recording by PL was not notice.

Chain of title – Period or evolution of a deed of title’s existence.



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