Details for PETITION TO QUIET TITLE AND FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT (I.C.

Updated

PETITION TO QUIET TITLE AND FOR DECLARATORY JUDGMENT

(I.C. 15-8-101, et seq.)

Case No. CV35-19-0512

IN THE DISTRICT COURT OF THE SECOND JUDICIAL DISTRICT

OF THE STATE OF IDAHO, IN AND FOR THE COUNTY OF NEZ PERCE

In the Matter of the Estate of

LESTER M. CHANEY,

Deceased.

WANDA JEAN KING,

Petitioner,

v.

ESTATE OF LESTER M. CHANEY, KATHALEEN J. TAYLOR, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Lester M. Chaney, and DOES 1-10, whose names are unknown, claiming any right, title, estate lien, or interest in and to the real property adverse to Petitioners interest or a cloud upon Petitioners title,

Respondents.

Petitioner, Wanda Jean King (King or Petitioner), by and through her attorney of record, Kaleena M. Beck of the firm Madsen Beck PLLC, and pursuant to I.C. 15-8-101 through 15-8-305, I.C. 6-401, and I.C. 10-1201, hereby petitions the Court as follows:

PARTIES, JURISDICTION, AND VENUE

1. In part, this Petition requests the Court quiet title to real property located at 18547 Fernwood Drive, Lenore, ID 83541 (the Property), which is situate in Nez Perce County, Idaho and legally described as:

Lot 1 in block 2 of Cooks Paradise Acres Subdivision, according to the official plat thereof, official records of Nez Perce County, Idaho.

2. At all times relevant to this action, King has been a resident of either Nez Perce County, Idaho or Payette County, Idaho.

3. At all times relevant to this action, Defendant, the Estate of Lester M. Chaney (Estate), has been a resident of Nez Perce County, Idaho.

4. Upon information and belief, at all times relevant to this action, Defendant, Kathaleen J. Taylor (Kathaleen or Personal Representative), has been the personal representative of the Estate and has been a resident of Nez Perce County, Idaho.

5. Upon information and belief, certain individuals and/or their unknown heirs, devisees and creditors, if any, may claim some interest in or to the Property.

6. Petitioner does not know the true names of all persons claiming any legal or equitable right, title, estate, lien, or interest in the Property which may be adverse to Petitioners title and, therefore, sues them as DOES 1-10. The names, capacities, and relationships of such defendants, if any, will be alleged by amendment to this Petition when the same are known.

7. Jurisdiction and venue are proper in this Court.

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

8. King is the ex-wife of the Decedent, Lester M. Chaney (Chaney).

Chaney died intestate and his probate was filed on March 25, 2019, with the Application for Informal Appointment of Personal Representative being approved on March 26, 2019.

10. Prior to Chaneys death, the title and registration for a 2015 Toyota Tundra (with VIN # ending in 443990) (the Vehicle) listed ownership as Wanda Jean King or Lester M. Chaney. The 2018 Certificate of Title and Registration for the Vehicle is attached hereto as Exhibit A and incorporated by reference.

11. After Chaneys death, on March 11, 2019, the Vehicle was retitled from Lester Murrel Chaney Jr. or Wanda Jean King to Wanda Jean King and registered in Kings name. The 2019 Certificate of Title and Registration is attached hereto as Exhibit B and incorporated by reference.

12. Prior to Chaneys death, on March 21, 2017, Chaney deeded the Property to Lester M. Chaney Jr. or Wanda Jean King.

13. The Deed was recorded in Nez Perce County on March 21, 2017. The 2017 Quitclaim Deed is attached hereto as Exhibit C and incorporated by reference.

14. Thereafter, by operation of law, Chaney and King became alternative owners of the Property.

15. Prior to Chaneys death, at various times, King resided with Chaney at the Property.

16. As a result, at the time of Chaneys death, King maintained various items of personal property at the Property.

17. Despite her clear rights to ownership and efforts to work with the Personal Representative and the Estate, (1) King has been unable to obtain a signed Quitclaim Deed transferring the Decedents interest in the Property to her; (2) maintain ownership over the Vehicle without a claim of interest by the Estate; and (3) obtain possession of her Personal Property.

18. On or about June 12, 2019, King filed a Claim Against Estate (Claim), asserting therein a claim to (1) the Property; (2) the Vehicle; and (3) the Personal Property.

19. On or about June 19, 2019, the Personal Representative filed a Disallowance of Claim, directing therein that she disallowed Kings Claim in its entirety with no other explanation.

20. On July 29, 2019, King filed a Petition for Allowance of Claim Against Estate pursuant to I.C. 15-3-806.

21. A trial was held before the Court on January 27, 2020.

22. Following submission of the parties respective closing arguments, on April 3, 2020, this Court entered its Opinion and Order Denying Petition for Allowance of Claim (Opinion).

23. This Court held Kings Claim was expressly outside the scope of a claim for purposes of application of the Uniform Probate Code and [a]s such, the claim resolution process established in Idaho Code Section 15-3-803 et seq., is an inappropriate remedy to resolve this ownership dispute. Opinion pp. 3-4.

24. The Court further held that:

There are a number of mechanisms through which the litigants could appropriately address the ownership of the real property and vehicle, including but not limited . . . a Trust and Estate Dispute Resolution Act (TEDRA) action brought under Idaho Code Section 15-8-101 et seq. The Court declines to direct a certain way forward, however does advise that, should ownership be further litigated within this probate action, in order to promote the interest of judicial economy and efficiency, the Court will consider the evidence presented to date and allow the parties to supplement the record With additional evidence according to the approach ultimately chosen to litigate this dispute.

Opinion, p. 4.

25. Petitioner is filing the present Petition to address the above-referenced ownership rights and incorporates all evidence presented prior to, following, and during the January 27, 2020 trial as if set forth in full herein.

PETITION TO QUIET TITLE

As to All Defendants

26. The foregoing paragraphs are incorporated by reference.

27. On March 21, 2017, Chaney deeded the Property to Lester M. Chaney Jr. or Wanda Jean King. Ex. C.

28. The Deed was recorded in Nez Perce County on March 21, 2017. Ex. C.

29. By operation of law, upon the recording of the 2017 Quitclaim Deed, Chaney and King became alternative owners of the Property. See I.C. 5-206; Broadhead v. Hawley, 109 Idaho 952, 712 P.2d 653 (Ct. App. 1985) (there is a presumption that ownership of property lies in the person establishing legal or written title to it).

30. Generally, Idaho law states that unless specific language is used to create a joint tenancy, the presumption is tenancy in common. See I.C. 55-508.

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