Court of Appeals of Missouri, Western District, First Division
from the Circuit Court of Jackson County, Missouri The
Honorable Marco A. Roldan, Judge.
Cynthia L. Martin, Presiding Judge, Victor C. Howard, Judge
and Thomas H. Newton, Judge.
Cynthia L. Martin, Judge.
Douglass ("Phillip") appeals a judgment imposing a
constructive trust on insurance proceeds in favor of Michael
Douglass ("Michael"). Phillip argues the trial
court erred in imposing the constructive trust because some
of the trial court's factual findings were not supported
by substantial evidence. Finding no prejudicial error, we
and Procedural Background
1996, Michael bought a home located at 1208 Ward Parkway in
Blue Springs ("Ward Parkway property"). Michael
bought the home so his brother, Phillip, would have a place
to live. In 1999, Michael encountered legal problems, and
conveyed the Ward Parkway property to other family members,
with the expectation that they would hold title on his
behalf. In 2001, those family members conveyed the Ward
Parkway property to Phillip. In 2004, Phillip sold the Ward
Parkway property for $77, 854.46. Michael claimed the
proceeds of the sale of the Ward Parkway property were being
held by Phillip for Michael's benefit.
2005, Michael decided to buy another home so Phillip would
have a place to live. At an auction in April of 2005, Michael
was the high bidder for a home located at 1003 N.W. B Street
in Blue Springs ("NW B Street property"), for which
he agreed to pay $108, 000. Michael paid a $3, 000
down-payment on the day of the auction. Between the date of
the auction and closing, Michael amended the purchase
contract to add Phillip as an additional buyer. At closing,
the $77, 854.46 sale proceeds from the Ward Parkway property
were applied against the purchase price for the N.W. B Street
property. In addition, $20, 000 was paid from a joint account
owned by Michael and Phillip. Phillip contributed the
remaining balance of the purchase price. Title to the N.W. B
Street property was conveyed to Michael and Phillip as joint
tenants with rights of survivorship.
lived at the N.W. B Street property. Phillip was responsible
for maintaining homeowners' insurance for the property,
and for paying real estate taxes on the property.
to Michael, Phillip executed a quitclaim deed in 2012
transferring title to the N.W. B Street property to ASTI
Corporation ("ASTI"). Phillip signed a quitclaim
deed for himself and for Michael as Michael's purported
power of attorney. In 2013, ASTI executed a quitclaim deed
transferring title to the property back to Phillip. As a
result, Michael's name was no longer on the title to the
N.W. B Street Property.
early August 2016, Phillip borrowed $12, 887.43 from Lyle Odo
("Odo") to pay back-due real estate taxes on the
N.W. B Street property. In exchange, Odo recorded a deed of
trust against the N.W. B Street property. As a result of this
loan, a tax sale for the property was averted. Odo later
learned that homeowners' insurance premiums were due and
unpaid. Odo advanced $1, 642 pursuant to the terms of the
deed of trust to ensure that the N.W. B Street property
2016, Phillip executed a beneficiary deed naming his
girlfriend, Jennifer Gaulter ("Gaulter") the
beneficiary grantee of the N.W. B Street property on
Phillip's death. Gaulter was living with Phillip in the
November 1, 2016, Michael filed a petition seeking to quiet
title in the N.W. B Street property or in the alternative,
awarding him a first lien on the property to the extent of
his interest in the property. Michael's lawsuit named Odo
and Gaulter as additional defendants. Odo filed counterclaims
and crossclaims asserting his right to collect the amounts
loaned to Phillip, along with interest.
days before trial, a fire destroyed the home on the N.W. B
Street property. The homeowners' insurer issued two
checks in the total amount of $140, 000. The first, a check
in the amount of $107, 271.75, was made payable to Phillip
and Odo. The second, a check in the amount of $32, 728.25,
was made payable to the City of Blue Springs. Michael secured
an order requiring the check payable to Phillip and Odo to be
deposited into the court registry.
thereafter filed an amended petition. The amended petition
again sought to quiet title in the N.W. B Street property,
but also asserted a right to share in the homeowners'
insurance proceeds issued as ...