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MICHAEL S. MERMON AND HELEN MERMON v. JAMES M. MERMON AND ANNE S. MERMON (07/12/78)

decided: July 12, 1978.

MICHAEL S. MERMON AND HELEN MERMON, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS,
v.
JAMES M. MERMON AND ANNE S. MERMON, HIS WIFE, APPELLEES



No. 2281 October Term, 1977, Appeal from the Order entered July 21, 1977, of the Court of Common Pleas of Cumberland County, at No. 12 June Term, 1974, Civil Action, Equity.

COUNSEL

Richard W. Cleckner, Harrisburg, for appellants.

William H. Mitman, West Chester, with him Harold S. Irwin, Jr., Carlisle, for appellee, Anne Mermon.

Jacobs, President Judge, and Hoffman, Cercone, Price, Van der Voort, and Hester, JJ. Spaeth, J., did not participate in the consideration or decision of this case.

Author: Hester

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 230]

This is an appeal from a Final Opinion and Decree wherein the Chancellor found that the Appellants had failed to rebut the presumption of a gift to either of the Appellees. The Chancellor therefore refused to impose either a resulting trust or an equitable lien on either of Appellees' undivided interests in the property here in dispute.

[ 257 Pa. Super. Page 231]

The facts may be summarized as follows:

Appellants are husband and wife. Appellees are husband and wife. The Appellants are the parents of Appellee James M. Mermon, and the in-laws of Appellee Anne S. Mermon. On March 29, 1973, a parcel of real estate, together with improvements, known and numbered as 145 Winfield Drive, Hampden Township, Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, was purchased in the names of Appellees, James M. Mermon and Anne S. Mermon, his wife. (Appellants' Trial Exhibit 2). The purchase price of said residence was $63,900 and was provided by Appellants (R-94a-6a). Thereafter, the residence was partially furnished with funds provided by the Appellants (R-75a). The total cost for the furnishings approximated an additional $15,000 to $16,000.

No written agreement of any nature was entered into by Appellants and Appellees prior to or at settlement. The deed to the property names the Appellees as grantees (R-31a).

Thereafter, on December 24, 1973, Appellee James M. Mermon executed a writing on Appellant's personal stationery which purports to be a documentation of the "loan" of $80,000 by Appellants to Appellee James M. Mermon (Appellants' Trial Exhibit No. 1). This document contains the signature of Appellee James M. Mermon only, and provides in full:

"December 24, 1973

Dear Mother and Dad and my sister Jeanne: --

I hereby declare that I will pay off the loan of $80,000.00 -- (Eighty Thousand Dollars) -- that you lent to me for the purchase of a new home and for the furnishings thereof. This new home is located at ...


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