Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, Third Division
DAVID A. ROBERTSON, SARAH C. SURRATT, and JOSEPH M. ROBERTSON, Appellants,
DAVID LEE MAUZEY, CHARLES WILLIAM MAUZEY and the Unknown Heirs, Devisees, Grantees, Assignees, Donees, Alienees, Legatees, Administrators, Representatives, Guardians, Conservators, Mortgages, Trustees, Successors, and Assigns, of LEOLA MAUZEY, and All Other Persons, Corporations, or Successors Claiming By, Through, or Under LEOLA MAUZEY or any of Them, Respondents.
from the Circuit Court of Chariton County The Honorable Terry
A. Tschannen, Judge
Alok Ahuja, P.J., and Victor C. Howard and James E. Welsh,
A. Robertson, Joseph M. Robertson, and Sarah C. Surratt (the
"Robertsons") appeal from a judgment entered by the
Circuit Court of Chariton County, which rejected their claim
of adverse possession against David Lee Mauzey and Charles
William Mauzey (the "Mauzeys") following a bench
trial. We reverse.
appeal concerns the ownership of a parcel of real estate
totaling 530 acres and located in Chariton County ("the
Property"). The Robertsons, three siblings, contend that
they own the entire property. The trial court instead found
that the Mauzeys own an undivided 1/12 interest in the
ownership dispute dates back to a conveyance made in 1931. On
October 21, 1931, David C. Robertson, a widower, conveyed the
Property by warranty deed in equal shares to his six
children: David Hurley Robertson, Fred Robertson, Nellie
Glenn, Melber Robertson, Carrie Shackelford, and Leola
Mauzey. The 1931 conveyance was subject to David C.
Robertson's life estate.
Robertsons" are the three children of David Hurley
Robertson and his wife Naomi Robertson. The Mauzeys'
purported interest in the Property derives from the share
deeded in 1931 to Leola Mauzey.
following diagram illustrates the relevant family
time of the 1931 deed, Leola Mauzey was married to David
Mauzey. The couple had no children together. Leola Mauzey
died in 1933. Leola Mauzey's estate was not probated, and
she did not convey her interest in the Property to anyone
before her death. At the time of Leola Mauzey's death,
the Property remained subject to David C. Robertson's
Leola Mauzeys' death, David Mauzey married Marguerite
Mauzey. The couple had two children, the Mauzeys.
C. Robertson died on February 12, 1938.
24, 1952, Fred Robertson died intestate, leaving no spouse or
children. His interest in the property passed in equal shares
to his four surviving siblings: David Hurley Robertson,
Nellie Glenn, Melber Robertson, and Carrie Shackelford.
Melber Robertson conveyed "a ¼ interest" in
the Property to David Hurley Robertson and his wife Naomi
Robertson. Nellie Glenn and Carrie Shackelford followed suit
in 1956 and 1959 respectively, each conveying a ¼
interest in the Property to David Hurley Robertson and Naomi
Robertson. The three deeds were publicly recorded.
Presumably, the siblings transferred one-quarter
interests in the Property in these transactions, rather than
one-fifth interests, because they believed that Leola
Mauzey's interest had been extinguished when she
predeceased her father, or that her interest had been
transferred by intestate succession to her father and
surviving siblings, and then to the surviving siblings on
David C. Robertson's death. As a result of the 1950's
conveyances, David Hurley Robertson and his wife Naomi
Robertson owned the entirety of the Property, with the
possible exception of any interest owned by Leola Mauzey or
Mauzey died on August 19, 1974. His second wife, Marguerite,
predeceased him, and thus the Mauzeys were his sole heirs.
David Lee Mauzey acted as the executor of his father's
estate. The inventory for David Mauzey's estate did not
list any interest in the Property.
October 4, 1977, David Hurley Robertson and Naomi Robertson
conveyed the whole title to the Property to themselves as
husband and wife. (Prior to that time, David Hurley Robertson
had individually owned the share of the Property he received
in the 1931 conveyance from his father.) The 1977 conveyance
was made by Warranty Deed, and was publicly recorded.
Hurley Robertson died in 1988, and Naomi Robertson died on
September 9, 1993. The Property was distributed to the
Robertsons by a court order of distribution in the probate
estate of ...