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Epps v. Epps

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, First Division

July 24, 2014

DANIEL EPPS, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
NANCY JANE EPPS, Defendant-Appellant, and WILLIAM WEGIS, JAMES A. BOWERS, HEIDI L. WEGIS, MARY E. BRUFFET, and LOUIS WEGIS, as trustees of the William and Pamela Wegis Revocable Trust Dated September 18, 2001, Defendants

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF TANEY COUNTY. Honorable David P. Evans, Special Judge.

For Appellant: Jason Coatney.

For Respondent: Russ Schenewerk, Taylor C. Moore.

Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, P.J. -- Opinion Author. Daniel E. Scott, J. -- Concurs. William W. Francis, Jr., C.J. -- Concurs.

OPINION

Page 423

Nancy Steffen Rahmeyer, P.J.

Nancy Jane Epps (" Appellant" ) appeals from a judgment entered against her for a real estate commission. The listing agreement and real estate contract was signed by her daughter, who had been given a

Page 424

Durable Power of Attorney by Appellant.[1] Appellant claims the issue before this Court is whether the Durable Power of Attorney given by Appellant conveyed general powers to the attorney-in-fact as provided in section 404.710,[2] thus making the listing agreement and contract for the sale of the property binding on Appellant. Appellant's point misses the mark.

At this point, it does not matter whether the Durable Power of Attorney was defective because Appellant closed on the contract for sale procured by Respondent and ratified the attorney-in-fact's power under the Durable Power of Attorney to convey Appellant's real estate to the buyer procured by Respondent. The trial court found that Respondent, a licensed broker-salesperson, produced a buyer ready, willing, and able to purchase or lease the property at the sale price or the rental rate and on the terms listed on a contract for which Respondent was to be paid a certain real estate commission. That buyer brought suit seeking specific performance of the real estate sales contract and that suit was settled wherein Appellant conveyed the property to the buyer for the sales price that had been listed. The sale closed and Appellant received the sales price.[3] Appellant does not claim error in any of those findings.

Having ratified the existence of her daughter's power under the Durable Power of Attorney, Appellant cannot now seek to repudiate that ratification by asserting that her daughter's power under the power of attorney was limited to conveying her real estate only to her trust or to a trust for her spouse. The facts of this case are straightforward: Appellant sold the real estate pursuant to the contract to the buyer who was procured by Respondent; she ratified the action of her agent by selling the property and may not now take the contrary position that there was no contract for the listing and sale of the property.

As the Springfield Court of Appeals stated over fifty years ago in Wilks v. Stone, 339 S.W.2d 590 (Mo. App. Spfd.D. 1960):

As relates to agency, 'ratification' is an express or implied adoption or confirmation, with knowledge of all material matters, by one person of an act performed in his behalf by another who at that time assumed to act as his agent but lacked authority to do so. Ratification relates back and is the equivalent of authority at the commencement of the act. It is the affirmance of a contract already made. The existence of agency and the authority of the agent can be and often is implied by proof of facts, circumstances, words, acts, and conduct of the party to be charged. As applied to the ...

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