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BRUNIER v. STANERT (01/07/52)

January 7, 1952

BRUNIER
v.
STANERT, APPELLANT



Appeals, Nos. 179 and 190, Jan. T., 1951, from decree of Court of Common Pleas No. 6 of Philadelphia County, Dec. T., 1949, No. 1228, in case of Mary A. Brunier v. Alice Stanert, et vir. and Victor F. Girard, Magistrate. Decree reversed.

COUNSEL

Henry Panfil, with him Moore, Panfil & James, for appellants.

Howard M. Kuehner, for appellee.

Before Drew, C.j., Stern, Stearne, Bell, Ladner and Chidsey, JJ.

Author: Chidsey

[ 369 Pa. Page 179]

OPINION BY MR. JUSTICE CHIDSEY

Mary A. Brunier instituted this bill in equity against Alice Stanert, appellant in appeal No. 179, William A. Stanert, appellant in appeal No. 190, and Victor F. Girard, a magistrate, to (1) restrain further prosecution of an action instituted by appellants before Girard against Mary A. Brunier for the purpose of obtaining possession of premises situate at 1673 Fillmore Street, Philadelphia, and (2) compel a reconveyance of the premises to her. The bill in equity averred that a conveyance by plaintiff to Alice Stanert by deed dated December 27, 1948 was made upon an oral trust for her, plaintiff's, benefit. An answer and amended answer were filed denying the trust, averring an absolute sale and, under new matter, asserting the Statute of Frauds and a scheme to hinder and delay a creditor, the City of Philadelphia.

Hearing was had before the chancellor and an adjudication entered granting the prayer of the bill. These appeals are from the final decree of the court below dismissing objections to said adjudication.

The facts found by the chancellor and approved by the court en banc were as follows. Mary A. Brunier,

[ 369 Pa. Page 180]

    plaintiff, is the widow of George F. Brunier. The latter died on June 11, 1945, leaving his entire estate to her. She is 66 years of age, of sound mind, able to read the English language, and is employed at a salary of $80 per month, plus board. She has resided at 1673 Fillmore Street, Philadelphia, the premises involved, for 25 years. The property had been held as tenants by the entireties so that upon her husband's death she held the property in her own name, subject to an existing and overdue mortgage of $3,000. Defendant, Alice Stanert, is the niece of plaintiff and the wife of William A. Stanert, also a defendant. At the time of his death the husband was the whole owner of premises 1909 North Marshall Street, Philadelphia.

The Stanerts resided in a rented second floor apartment at 1411 Frankford Avenue, Philadelphia. Subsequent to the death of George F. Brunier, Alice Stanert became the "confidante" of Mary A. Brunier and attended to many of her business and personal affairs. Plaintiff, upon advice of her attorney, transferred the Fillmore Street property to Alice Stanert with the understanding and agreement that it would be reconveyed to her upon her request and when her affairs would be straightened out. The value of the property at the time of conveyance was $5,000, subject to the mortgage of $3,000. The sole consideration paid the plaintiff was defendant's assumption of the mortgage debt. Plaintiff was induced to part with her title by reason of the confidence and trust reposed in Alice Stanert. The conveyance of the property was part of a plan to refinance the overdue mortgage and prevent loss of the property ...


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