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Friedline v. Roe

Supreme Court of New Hampshire

May 16, 2014

Leigh Mae Friedline & a .
v.
Eugene Roe

Argued October 16, 2013

Editorial Note:

Under New Hampshire procedural rule this decision is subject to motion for rehearing, as well as formal revision before publication in the New Hampshire reports.

8th Circuit Court -- Jaffrey District Division.

Donald H. Sienkiewicz, of Milford, by brief and orally, for the plaintiffs.

Keefe & Keefe P.A., of Wilton ( William Keefe on the brief and orally), for the defendant.

BASSETT, J. DALIANIS, C.J., and HICKS, CONBOY, and LYNN, JJ., concurred.

OPINION

Page 280

Bassett, J.

The defendant, Eugene Roe, appeals a decision of the 8th Circuit Court -- Jaffrey District Division ( Runyon, J.) awarding the plaintiffs, Leigh Mae Friedline and Zebadiah Kellogg-Roe, a writ of possession. We vacate and remand.

The following facts are drawn from the district division's order and the record, or are otherwise undisputed. In 1959, the defendant purchased property in Greenville, New Hampshire. In 1971, the defendant conveyed the property to Brookwood Ecology Center, Inc. (Brookwood), a New Hampshire voluntary corporation. Brookwood reconveyed the house and barn on the property to the defendant in 1999. In 2004, the defendant conveyed the house and barn to his son, plaintiff Kellogg-Roe. In 2009, Kellogg-Roe transferred a twenty percent interest in the buildings to plaintiff Friedline. That same year, Kellogg-Roe gave Friedline a power of attorney to act as his agent.

The defendant has lived on the property since he purchased it. In March 2012, Friedline served him with an eviction notice, ordering him to vacate the premises within thirty days. Although the eviction notice stated that the buildings were owned by both Kellogg-Roe and Friedline, only Friedline signed the notice. When the defendant did not vacate the premises, the plaintiffs filed a landlord and tenant writ.

The defendant filed a brief statement and plea of title in response to the writ, arguing, among other things, that the case should be dismissed because both record owners of the premises did not sign the eviction notice. In his plea of title, the defendant argued that a constructive trust should be imposed because " [t]he 2004 conveyance from [the defendant] to [Kellogg-Roe] was based on the agreement that [the defendant] could live in the house for the rest of his life." The defendant also challenged ...


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