Willard v. First Church of Christ, Scientist

7 Cal. 3d 473, 102 Cal. Rptr. 739, 498 P.2d 987 (1972)

 

RULE:

The court's primary objective in construing a conveyance is to try to give effect to the intent of the grantor. In general, therefore, grants are to be interpreted in the same way as other contracts and not according to rigid feudal standards.

FACTS:

Plaintiffs purchased property that a former owner had conveyed subject to an easement for automobile parking during church hours. Plaintiffs' deed did not mention the easement. The Superior Court of San Mateo County quieted title in favor of plaintiffs. Judgment was reversed in favor of defendant church.

ISSUE:

Can a grantor, in deeding real property to one person, effectively reserve an interest in the property to another?

ANSWER:

Yes.

CONCLUSION:

The grantor, in deeding the property to plaintiff's seller had vested an interest in the property to defendant. There was substantial evidence that the parties to the deed intended to convey the easement to the church.

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