Ashley E. Parramore Introduction to Legal Analysis and Writing PA 205 August 8, 2011 Donnelly V. Rees Case Brief. Donnelly V. Rees Case Name: Donnelly V. Rees, 141 Cal. 56 (1903) Court: California Supreme Court FACTS: An action may be maintained by the sole heir of a deceased person to set aside a deed procured from the deceased without consideration by the fraudulent practices of the defendants and their undue influence over the deceased, who was known to be a habitual drunkard for more than five years before the execution of the deed.
ISSUE: The plaintiff was not required to make any payments on account of an alleged bill against the grantor, or for moneys alleged to have been advanced to him subsequently to the alleged transaction, where these matters cannot be regarded as connected with the transaction. RULE: Section 2224 of the California civil Code (1) The defendant gained the land by fraud. (2) By undue influence, and are therefore or, rather each is an involuntary trustee of the thing gained. 3) The same result follows, because they gained the thing by the violation of a trust. Upon either of these principles, therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to recover, unless precluded as is contended by the appellants. ANALYSIS: The court cited in the decisions of Civ. Code, sec. 2219 Pierce V. Robinson, 13 cal. 127 Kimball V. Tripp, 136 Cal. 634, 635 Knight V. Tripp, 121 Cal. 674 Davies V. Otty, 35 Beav. 213
CONCLUSION: It was not necessary that the plaintiff should pay to the defendants the amount of their alleged bill, or to O’Brien the amount alleged to have been advanced to Kean subsequently to the transaction or that the court should so adjudge under the findings which we have held to be sustained by the evidence. These matters cannot be regarded as being connected with the transaction Guidici v. Guidici Case Brief Guidici v Guidici Case Name: Guidici V. Guidici 2 Cal. 2d 497 1935 Court: California Supreme Court
FACTS: In this action to cancel a deed to real property, the evidence that plaintiff at the time of signing the deed was in such a state of mind, due to long and excessive drinking of intoxicating liquor, that he did not know what he was doing, and that he had no recollection of signing the deed, was sufficient to support the finding that he was mentally incapable, at that time, of understanding the nature of his act in the signing and execution of said deed, and such finding could not be disturbed on appeal even though there was considerable conflict in the evidence.
ISSUE: While marriage is a good consideration for a deed, or for a contract generally, if such a deed is executed by the grantor at a time when he is incapable of understanding his act in the execution thereof, by reason of long and excessive drinking, and the marriage is entered into about an hour later, while he is in the same state of mind, it cannot be said that the marriage ceremony forms a valid consideration for the execution of said deed. RULE: The defendant was a woman of over fifty years of age at the time. She had been married twice before, and she admitted that she was marrying the plaintiff as a business proposition.
At no time did she manifest any affection toward the plaintiff. She evidently reposed but little confidence in him, or was aware of his intoxicated condition, as she absolutely refused, at the suggestion of the attorney, to proceed with the marriage ceremony until the deed to plaintiff’s valuable farm was signed and delivered to her. These matters were undoubtedly given careful consideration by the trial judge who, after a review of all the evidence with the parties before him and an opportunity to observe their conduct and demeanor, believed the testimony of the plaintiff and his witnesses, and made findings favorable to him.
According to the well-established rule in cases involving conflicting evidence, the findings of the trial court must be sustained on appeal. ANALYSIS: A person who at the time of making a contract is completely intoxicated may avoid his contract notwithstanding the fact that his intoxicated condition may have been caused by his voluntary act and not by the contrivance of the other party to the contract. … ” (6 Ruling Case Law, p. 595. ) CONCLUSION: It is not necessary for us to give any xtended consideration to the further contention of the defendant that there is no evidence to support the finding of the trial court that there was no consideration for the deed. It is, of course, true that marriage is a good consideration for a deed, or for a contract generally, but if the deed was executed by the grantor at a time when he was incapable of understanding his act in the execution thereof, his marriage was entered into while in the same state of mind.
If one was not binding upon him by reason of the fact that he was mentally incompetent of entering into a valid contract the other may be avoided for the same reason. In these circumstances it cannot be said that the marriage ceremony to which the plaintiff and defendant were parties formed a valid consideration for the execution of said deed. The judgment is affirmed.