Dennison v. N.D. Dept. of Human Serv.

20010250 John B. Dennison, Plaintiff and Appellant
North Dakota Department of
Human Services, successor to
the Public Welfare Board of
North Dakota, Defendant and Appellee

Appeal from: District Court, Southeast Judicial District, McIntosh County
Judge Gail Hagerty
Nature of Action: Real Property
Appellant: Terry W. Elhard
Appellee: Matthew Arnold Sagsveen , Att. General Office
Term: 12/2001   Argument: 12/18/2001
ND cite: 2002 ND 39
NW cite: 640 N.W.2d 447

Listen to recording of oral argument in MP3 format

Issues: Appellant's Statement of the Issues:
1. Did the filing of a Homestead Statement, as provided by Section 50- 0707 of the North Dakota Revised Code of 1943, create any right, title, claim or lien in favor of the Public Welfare Board upon the property of a recipient of old age assistance?
ANSWER: No. A Homestead Statement merely created a restraint on alienation resulting in a void deed by a recipient of Old Age Assistance if the deed was given without the approval of the Public Welfare Board of North Dakota.
2. Does the appellant, John B. Dennison, have marketable title under the North Dakota Marketable Record Title Act?
ANSWER: Yes. Even though the deed and conveyance of Magdalena Retzer's one-third interest on August 31, 1951 was void, the Final Decree in the Matter of Christoph Retzer, dated October 7, 1952 and filed on October 8, 1952, constituted a root deed for purposes of the North Dakota Marketable Record Title Act. John B. Dennison has marketable title because he is the record title holder having an unbroken chain of title through his immediate and remote grantors by a deed of conveyance which has been recorded twenty years or more, and as record title holder, he is in possession of the property.

Appellee's Statement of the Issues:
1. In 1951, the State provided "old age" assistance to Magdalena Retzer. Because she owned the property, the State recorded a Homestead Statement. The filing of the Homestead Statement, as provided by Section 50-0707 of the North Dakota Revised Code of 1943, created an interest in favor of the State upon Magdalena Retzer's property.
2. The Marketable Record Title Act provides for a way to clear title defects. The Act, however, specifically exempts state property interests. The Act does not operate to deprive the state of interests it acquired under recorded Homestead Statements.

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Docket entries:
110/05/2001 NOTICE OF APPEAL: 10/03/2001
410/19/2001 ANNOUNCED DISQUALIFICATION: Sandstrom, Dale V.
510/24/2001 Copies of Table of Contents and Table of Authorities for ATB
610/26/2001 DISK - ATB e-mailed
710/30/2001 RECORD ON APPEAL, w/exception of #29--Shorthand Notes
811/05/2001 Letter and Corrected Clerk's Certificate dtd. 11-2-01, indicating #29 should be shorthand notes
911/19/2001 APPELLEE BRIEF
1011/19/2001 DISK - Electronically filed (AEB)
1111/29/2001 SITTING WITH THE COURT: McClintock, Jr., John C.
1212/18/2001 APPEARANCES: Terry W. Elhard; Matthew A. Sagsveen
1312/18/2001 ARGUED: Elhard; Sagsveen (Vol. X; Page 188)
1602/22/2002 UNANIMOUS OPINION: Neumann, William A.
1702/22/2002 Costs taxed in favor of Appellant John B. Dennison
1802/22/2002 Order/Judgment Mailed to Parties
1903/19/2002 MANDATE
2004/18/2002 Corrected/Substitute Opinion Page 2, line 1 of footnote and page 3
2209/27/2007 EXPUNGED - Nonpermanent record items destroyed

Generated from Supreme Court Docket on 05/18/2018