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MILLER v. HOUSEWORTH. (12/29/56)

December 29, 1956

MILLER, APPELLANT,
v.
HOUSEWORTH.



Appeal, No. 326, Jan. T., 1956, from decree of Court of Common Pleas of Bedford County, Nov. T., 1955, No. 2, in equity, in case of Sulva C. Miller et al. v. Mearil G. Houseworth et al. Decree affirmed. Equity to reform a deed. Before SNYDER, P.J. Adjudication filed finding for defendants; exceptions to adjudication dismissed and final decree entered. Plaintiffs appealed.

COUNSEL

Archibald M. Matthews, with him J. William McIntyre, for appellants.

Paul A. Koontz, for appellees.

Before Stern, C.j., Jones, Bell, Chidsey, Musmanno and Arnold, JJ.

[ 387 Pa. Page 347]

OPINION PER CURIAM

Appellants are the plaintiffs in a proceeding in equity seeking reformation of a deed on the ground that the deed from the plaintiffs Sulva C. Miller (also known as Sylvia C. Miller) and Avery L. Miller, her husband, to the defendants Mearil G. Houseworth and Naomi G. Houseworth, husband and wife, included by mistake a parcel of land not intended by the parties thereto to be conveyed, and which the Millers, it was claimed, had previously contracted to sell to the plaintiffs

[ 387 Pa. Page 348]

Luther Melius and Mildred Melius, his wife. The parcel in dispute adjoins the rear of a lot owned by Mrs. Melius and acquired by her before her marriage when she was Mildred Caruthers. This lot is referred to in the opinion of the chancellor as the "Mildred Caruthers lot". The defendants filed an answer and new matter to the plaintiffs' complaint and plaintiffs filed an answer to the new matter. Thereafter the case was heard by President Judge SNYDER, sitting as chancellor, who made findings of fact, conclusions of law and entered a decree nisi in favor of the defendants. After argument, exceptions filed by plaintiffs were dismissed by the court en banc and the decree nisi was entered as a final decree. This appeal followed.

We have carefully reviewed the record, and the decree of the court below is affirmed on the following portion of the chancellor's adjudication:

"This suit was instituted to reform a deed on the ground that by mistake it conveyed more land than either the grantors or grantees intended. Sulva C. Miller and Avery L. Miller, her husband, two of the plaintiffs, were the owners of a tract of land situate in Snake Spring Township, along the north side of the Lincoln Highway. They contend that for some time prior to 1947, they had leased a small portion of this tract to Mildred Melius and on January 31, 1947, entered into a written agreement of sale of the same to Mildred Melius and Luther Melius, her husband; that on February 1, 1949, when they executed and delivered a deed to Meairl C. Houseworth and Naomi G. Houseworth, his wife, for a tract of land containing 79.80 acres, it included by mistake, the parcel which they had agreed to sell to Mr. and Mrs. Melius, and which they did not intend to sell to the Houseworths. Mildred Melius and Luther Melius, her husband, the other

[ 387 Pa. Page 349]

    plaintiffs, contend that they were visibly in possession of the parcel in question under an oral lease and had an agreement of purchase prior to the sale to Houseworths; that they received a deed to the land in question from the Millers, subsequent to the sale to the Houseworths.

"Meairl C. Houseworth and Naomi C. Houseworth, his wife, two of the defendants, contend that they got only what they paid for; that there was no mistake in the deed; that they had no knowledge of the alleged possession of Mildred Melius or an agreement of sale at the time of purchase; that they have entered into a written agreement to sell a part or all of the land in dispute to William R. Thompson and May F. Thompson, his ...


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