Betsy & Robert (Bobby)
brought action, seeking to impose a parol trust (this
is an oral trust that is created verbally by a settlor) on
certain real property or for restitution for benefits
bestowed by her on the defendants and for damages,
including punitive damages, for fraud.
Britt was made a party plaintiff after the action was filed.
In 1977 the
two Pl - were working as Amway distributors for Billy Britt.
Bobby Britt and Billy Britt are brothers.
1977, Billy Britt purchased a farm in Orange County known as
Magnolia Hill Farm which had been operated as a horse farm since
Betsy Britt would occupy the farm.
promised Betsy and Bobby that when they "hit the diamond level"
of Amway sales, he would convey the farm to them if
they would repay to him his investment in the farm.
agreed that Bobby and Betsy would "repair and maintain the farm
. . . and operate the stable business to carry the farm."
They were to
live on the farm and retain any surplus income as compensation.
delivered to Betsy Britt a payment book for monthly payments of
this debt were to be paid from the income from the farm.
He also told
her that she was to pay from the farm income $1,033.63 per month
on a purchase money note secured by a second deed of trust on
Agreement in Writing
He said it
He was a man
of his word
"I'm putting so much money in the farm and all and I'd like some
kind of protection."
offered her to be an employee and Betsy said no.
how would you feel about having accruing stock in the
corporation each time you made a mortgage payment, then you
would be accruing more stock?"
making mortgage payments.
fell apart, Kicked Out
her off the frame.
Oddity Notes (Not Part Of Case)
It is me, or
does Betsy where the pants in the relationship?
Its odd that
Betsy does all the paying.
Its odd that
Betsys bother-in-law kicks of off of the farm.
Mortgage - $
Repairs - $
40,469.95 in repairs and maintenance of the property.
Labor Expert testified that Betsy performed for the business
ranged from $ 224,415.00 to $ 338,833.00.
Verdict Parol Trust Claim
plaintiffs on their claim for a parol trust.
Verdict Unjust Enrichment Claim
Verdict Fraud Claim
compensatory and $ 400,000.00 in punitive damages.
not sufficient evidence to support a claim of unjust enrichment
the superior court to enter a judgment dismissing the case.
allowed discretionary review.
Fraudulent Misrepresentation Elements
defendant's false representation of a past or existing fact,
knowledge that the representation was false when made or it was
made recklessly without any knowledge of its truth and as a
made the false representation with the intent it be relied on by
the plaintiff, and
plaintiff was injured by reasonably relying on the false
representation. Evidence of a promise which is not fulfilled is
not sufficient to support a finding of a false representation
unless the evidence shows the promisor made the promise with no
intention of fulfilling it.
a promise which is not fulfilled is
not sufficient to
support a finding of a false representation
unless the evidence
shows the promisor made the promise with
no intention of fulfilling
was a phone conversation in which Billy said he would not keep
the promise and he made the promise to keep her working on the
farm and making mortgage payments.
not intention of forming a corporation and she reasonably relied
on this false representation.
Courts Misrepresentation Discussion
could infer a promise the stock agreement by the statement how
would your feel about accruing stock in the corporation each
time your made a mortgage payment?
defendant did not intend to keep this promise at the time it was
made, this would be the misrepresentation of a material fact.
evidence that he did not intend to keep the promise is that no
stock was issued to Betsy Britt.
Mere proof of nonperformance is not sufficient to establish the
necessary fraudulent intent.
fails to show that the promise by Billy Britt was a
misrepresentation of a material fact.
has shown is nonperformance.
part, Reversed in Part, And Remanded In Part.