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Property Deeds

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Case:  Scott Trent Et Al. v. Mountain Commerce Bank et al.

Facts:  Adren and Pamela Greene owned a piece of real property. Adren executed a quitclaim deed to Company, which was a business they both owned. Later, Company executed a deed conveying its interest to Buyers. The Greenes executed a “deed of correction” asserting that Pamela’s name was inadvertently omitted from the original deed and seeking to vest Company with full property rights. Buyers sought declaratory relief for a declaration that Buyers are vested with all rights to the property. The trial court denied relief, holding that it lacked the authority to add Pamela as a grantor to the quitclaim deed because there was no mutual mistake of the parties.

Appellate Decision:  The intermediate court affirmed. The court noted that “Tennessee law allows reformation of a deed when the instrument does not reflect the true intent of the parties,” but the only parties to the original deed were Adren and Company. Even if Pamela had intended to transfer her interest, she was not a party to the deed.

Review Granted:  October 11, 2019.

Prediction:  Ben thinks the supreme court will reverse. Adren testified that he believed he was transferring full interest of the property to Company, so as a party to the deed the court could consider his intent to include Pamela. Moreover, since Pamela was a partner in Company, she was arguably a party to the deed via her interest in Company.