The Law School Authority

Jack Bowlin v. Ova Lea Keifer Case Brief

Summary of Jack Bowlin v. Ova Lea Keifer, Sup. Ct. Arkansas (1969)

Relevant Facts: April 1947 Guy Wade wrote an instrument, selling for $300.00 cash, interest in the estate of his father and all rights, title therewith, to Ora Lea Keifer.  The estate of his father consisted of 270 acres and one-seventh of the proceeds of a Government check totaling $25,000. Guy Wade died Sept. 1948 leaving as his sole heir Victor Wade.

Legal Issue(s): Whether the written instrument is valid (constructive notice)as a conveyance of real property?

Court’s Holding: No, the instrument here does not contains such description.

Law or Rule(s): Contracts for the sale of real property must be in writing, specifying the consideration offered, and a description of the property being conveyed, to a specific purchaser.

Procedure: S. Ct. reversed Chancellor’s decision affirming appellee’s claim.

Court Rationale: The deed, or instrument in writing fails under two regards.  It does not describe any real property within any county or withing any particular state.

Plaintiff’s Argument: The description contained in the agreement, estate of George Wade, could have been easily proved and eliminated any other description ofproperty in the world.  Therefore a contract, with the written requirements, was in existence under the disputed instrument.

Defendant’s Argument: Without a specific description of the property to be conveyed, constructive notice failed as did the written requirement for real property contracts.

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