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Property – partition — statute of frauds — equity

Wisconsin Court of Appeals

Civil

Property – partition — statute of frauds — equity

Brothers Kevin, David, and Gregory Anderson sought a judgment of partition, asking the court to divide a 220-acre family farm among them and their sister Kristine Blacklock, and to find that a fifty-five acre parcel that Kristine had previously acquired constituted her one-quarter share pursuant to an alleged oral agreement, leaving the remaining 165 acres to be divided equally among the three brothers. The parties agree that the alleged oral agreement would be void under the statute of frauds, but disagree about whether the court could properly enforce it as a matter of equity. Separately, Kristine counterclaimed for reimbursement for work that she and her husband claimed to have performed on the farm. The circuit court enforced the oral agreement advanced by the three brothers, dividing the remaining 165 acres among the brothers as they had requested and ruling that Kristine had no interest in those remaining 165 acres.

On the separate issue, the court ordered the brothers to pay Kristine and her husband $25,000 in equitable compensation for their work on the farm.

Kristine appeals from the judgment of partition divesting her of any interest in the 165 acres, and the three Anderson brothers cross-appeal from that part of the judgment ordering payment to Kristine. Because we conclude that the circuit court applied the correct legal standard to properly found facts, we affirm each of the challenged decisions. Not recommended for publication in the official reports.

2012AP1875 Anderson v. Blacklock

Dist IV, Sauk County, Reynolds, J., Kloppenburg, J.

Attorneys: For Appellant: Eisenberg, Stephen J., Madison; Lindberg, Jack S., Madison; For Respondent: Taggart, Patrick Joseph, II, Sauk City


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