Donnelly v. Rees 141 Cal. 56, Cal. 1903. November 6, 1903
FACTS: An action may be maintained by the sole heir of a deceased person to set aside a deed procured from the deceased without consideration by the fraudulent practices of the defendants and their undue influence over the deceased, who was known to be an habitual drunkard for more than five years before the execution of the deed, to anextent seriously to impair his mind, and who was so intoxicated at the time as to render him unfit to transact business, and entirely incapable of realizing, understanding, or attending to the transaction. ISSUE: The plaintiff was not required to make any payments on account of an alleged bill against the grantor, or for moneys alleged to have been advanced to him subsequently to the alleged transaction, where these matters cannot be regarded as connected with the transaction. RULE: This was admissible in evidence (Code Civ. Proc., sec. 1853) (Code Civ. Proc., sec. 1963, subd. 5.)On the facts found, the case comes within several of the provisions of section 2224 of the Civil Code, which, in view of other questions involved in the case, it may be important to distinguish: (1) The defendants gained the land by "fraud" --i. e. by actual fraud,--and also (2) by "undue influence," and are therefore--or, rather, each is "aninvoluntary trustee of the thing gained"; and (3) the same result follows, because they gained the thing by "the violation of a trust." APPLY: (Civ. Code, sec. 2219; Pierce v. Robinson, 13 Cal. 127; Kimball v. Tripp, 136 Cal. 634, 635; Knight v. Tripp, 121 Cal. 674; Davies v. Otty, 35 Beav. 213.) CONCLUSION: It was not necessary that the plaintiff should pay to the defendants the amount of their alleged bill, or to O'Brien the amounts alleged to have been advanced to Kean subsequently to the transaction; or that the court should so adjudge under the findings--which we have held to be sustained by the evidence. CASE 2 of 5
Guidici v. Guidici, 2 Cal.2d 497, Cal.,1935. February 26, 1935. FACTS: HEADNOTES
Cancellation of Instruments--Deeds--Intoxication--Evidence--Findings-- Appeal. In this action to cancel a deed to real property, the evidence that plaintiff at the time of signing the deed was in such a state of mind, due to long and excessive drinking of intoxicating liquor, that he did not know what he was doing, and that he had norecollection of signing the deed, was sufficient to support the finding that he was mentally incapable, at that time, of understanding the nature of his act in the signing and execution of said deed, and such finding could not be disturbed on appealeven though there was considerable conflict in the evidence. ISSUE: While marriage is a good consideration for a deed, or for a contract generally, if such a deed is executed by the grantor at a time when he is incapable of understanding his act in the execution thereof, by reason of long and excessive drinking, and the marriage is entered into about an hour later, while he is in the same state of mind, it cannot be said that the marriage ceremony forms a valid consideration for the execution of said deed. RULE: The defendant was a woman of over fifty years of age at the time. She had been married twice before, and she admitted that she was marrying the plaintiff as a business proposition. At no time did she manifest anyaffection toward the plaintiff. She evidently reposed but little confidence in him, or was aware of his intoxicated condition, as she absolutely refused, at the suggestion of the attorney, to proceed with the marriage ceremony until the deed to plaintiff's valuable farm was signed and delivered to her. These matters were undoubtedly given careful consideration by the trial judge who, after a review of all the evidence with the parties before him and an opportunity to observe their conduct and demeanor, believed the testimony of the plaintiff and his witnesses, and made findings favorable to him. According to the...