Wednesday, June 23, 2010

One Way To Avoid Losing The Farm

Below is an excerpt from divorce proceedings, explaining that the defendant, James Hickey, had deeded property to Otis Judson to keep from losing said property in a lawsuit. When the lawsuit was settled, Mr. Hickey took advantage of the situation to keep property away from his estranged wife, Bethia Hickey:
About three years ago he [James Hickey] feared some difficulty and litigation with Calvin Rose and deeded away his land to avoid any Judgment which Calvin Rose might obtain against him. After settlement, James had the farm conveyed back to him together with certain land and real estate which belonged to her.

Before her marriage to James, she was the owner of and possessed in fee jointly with her son, Alanson Dean of NE 1/4 of SE 1/4 Sec. 17 T2N R10E; also SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 of Sec. 17, T2N R10E, excepting 2 acres deeded by Ira Smith to Geo. Slater from SW corner and one acre from NE corner of land SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 Sec. 17 T2N R10E (Deeds 22:57) and she continued to hold some joint with her son, Alanson Dean, until her marriage. At the time of the trouble with Calvin Rose, James induced her to join in a deed on conveyance with him conveying NE 1/4 of SE 1/4 Sec. 17, T2N R10E and SE 1/4 of NE 1/4 to Otis Judson (Deeds 32:243, 244) to avoid a possible Judgment. Otis Judson redeeded the property to James Hickey (Deeds 32:417 and 418) in a fraud of her just rights. James has since refused to convey the property back to her.

The deed transferals appeared to be part of a sham transaction. I wonder how many other "odd" transactions found in the deed books (where property is transferred back and forth within a short time frame) are intended to protect the property from a court judgment?

The yellow dots outline the NE 1/4 of Section 17 & NE 1/4 of SE 1/4 of Section 17, Royal Oak Twp., Oakland County, Michigan

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