property rights of parties divorced by a foreign decree, in the absence of a valid antenuptial or post-nuptial agreement. Heath v. Heath, 89 U.S.App.D.C. 68, 189 F.2d 697; Scholl v. Scholl, 80 U.S.App.D.C. 292, 152 F.2d 672.
In making a proper disposition of the property under Sec. 16-409, D.C.Code, there are many elements that are to be weighed. After considering the monetary contribution by the plaintiff to the business operation, joint efforts on the part of both parties toward the business operation, which was the source of funds with which this property was purchased, the duration of the marriage, the number of children, and the lack of any evidence of marital misconduct on the part of either party, I am of the opinion that a just disposition of this property will be effected by an equal division of this property between the parties.
Plaintiff seeks a judgment declaring defendant to be trustee in her behalf of one-half of the proceeds of Parcel 153/105, referred to as the New York Avenue property. This property was acquired during the marriage of the parties and held by them as tenants by the entireties. On April 11, 1949, subsequent to the divorce, the property was sold and both parties joined in the deed. Plaintiff received no part of the sale price of the property.
Plaintiff claims that she was induced by fraud to sign the deed, and that the fraud operates (1) to make defendant the constructive trustee of her portion of the price and (2) to postpone the running of the statute of limitations until the time the fraud was discovered, in 1955.
While the facts as developed showed that plaintiff was not acting in her own best interest when she signed the deed, there was no evidence of fraud in the transaction. The statute of limitations began to run from the time defendant received the funds from the sale of the property in question.
Plaintiff had an adequate remedy at law, before the running of the statute of limitations, for recovery of these monies. Washington Loan & Trust Co. v. Darling, supra.
Even if defendant is a constructive trustee, the action is barred by the statute. Filson v. Fountain, 90 U.S.App.D.C. 273, 197 F.2d 383.
Here, the record is devoid of showing of fraud, so the statute still applies. Darling v. Birney, 54 App.D.C. 318, 324, 297 F. 1011.
The plaintiff's claim is barred by the statute of limitations.
521 Acres of Farm Land In King George County, Virginia
In his counterclaim, defendant seeks a judgment declaring him to be the owner in fee of certain Virginia property, title to which is in the parties as tenants by the entireties, and requests the court to order plaintiff to execute such deeds as may be required for him to perfect his title. The Pre-trial statement refers to the property as consisting of approximately 521 acres of farm land. The defendant testified that there were two purchases, both in 1945, the first of approximately 227 acres and the second an adjoining 297 acres.
Before viewing the merits of this contention, the jurisdiction of this court to consider such a claim which might affect the title to foreign real property must be determined. In Columbia National Sand Dredging Co. v. Morton, 28 App.D.C. 288, 296, 7 L.R.A.,N.S., 114, the court said:
'* * * From a very early period, courts of equity having jurisdiction of the person of a party have exercised the power to compel him to perform a contract, execute a trust, or undo the effects of a fraud, notwithstanding it may relate to or incidentally affect the title to land in another jurisdiction. The doctrine is thoroughly well established within this limitation, that the principal question involved must be one of contract, trust, or fraud, raising up a duty which a person within the power of the court may be compelled to perform, although the act when performed may operate to affect, and even to pass, the title to land outside the territorial jurisdiction of the court. As was said by Mr. Justice Field in Pennoyer v. Neff, 95 U.S. 714, 723, 24 L. Ed. 565, 569: 'Thus the State, through its tribunals, may compel persons domiciled within its limits to execute, in pursuance of their contracts respecting property elsewhere situated, instruments in such form and with such solemnities as to transfer the title, so far as such formalities can be complied with; and the exercise of this jurisdiction in no manner interferes with the supreme control over the property by the State within which it is situated. Penn v. Baltimore, 1 Ves.Sr. 444 * * *."
Clearly then, if this situation is one in which the property in Virginia is impressed with a trust, this court can compel plaintiff as trustee to perform an act which would ultimately pass title to the property to defendant. Stone v. Fowlkes, 29 App.D.C. 379. The defendant's contention is that, having furnished all the consideration for the property, he is entitled to a judgment declaring plaintiff to be a mere trustee for his benefit, and an order compelling plaintiff to transfer her legal title to defendant.
A determination of whether or not this is a trust must be made under Virginia law which is quite similar, if not identical, to our local law. In Eaton v. Davis, 165 Va. 313, 182 S.E. 229, 231, the property was held by husband and wife jointly during their marriage. The husband sought a decree vesting title in fee in him. The court said:
'The principle is stated in Irvine v. Greever, 32 Grat. (73 Va.) 411, 417, 418, thus: 'The doctrine generally, if not universally, recognized is, that when a conveyance of real estate is made to one person, and the consideration paid by another, it it presumed that the party advancing the money intended a benefit to himself, and accordingly a resulting trust is raised in his behalf. But when the conveyance is taken to a wife or child, or to any other person for whom the purchaser is under an obligation to provide, no such presumption attaches. On the contrary, the inference in such case is that the purchase was designed as an advancement to the person to whom the conveyance is made. It is, however, always a question of intention, and the trust in favor of the wife or child may be rebutted by parol proof, showing that the party intended the purchase for his own benefit exclusively."
Under the evidence in this case, no resulting trust in favor of the defendant was established. There being no trust, no fraud, and no contract in relation to the Virginia property, this court is without jurisdiction to require plaintiff to transfer her legal title to defendant.
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