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Bryant v. Dent

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

September 18, 2018

ALBINNIE BRYANT APPELLANT
v.
KATIE DENT, CHRISTOPHER GRAY, AND CATHY GRAY APPELLEES

          DATE OF JUDGMENT: 08/22/2017

          FORREST COUNTY CHANCERY COURT TRIAL JUDGE: HON. SUSAN RHEA SHELDON

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: JOSIAH CHARLES BURNS RONALD C. MORTON

          ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: KATIE DENT (PRO SE) CHRISTOPHER GRAY (PRO SE) CATHY GRAY (PRO SE)

          BEFORE LEE, C.J., FAIR AND WILSON, JJ.

          LEE, C.J.

         ¶1. In this appeal, we must determine whether the chancellor erred in dismissing Albinnie Bryant's complaint against Katie Dent, Christopher Gray, and Cathy Gray. Finding reversible error regarding the applicable statute of limitations, we affirm in part and reverse and remand in part.

         PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         ¶2. Prior to his death, Mellie Cooley signed and executed a warranty deed transferring his interest in certain real property located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, to his sister, Katie Dent. After Cooley's death, Albinnie Bryant, individually and as administrator of Cooley's estate, filed a complaint in the Forrest County Chancery Court against Dent, Christopher Gray, and Cathy Gray, alleging that the deed was void due to Cooley's lack of capacity, undue influence, and fraud. The chancellor dismissed Bryant's complaint, finding that her claims were barred by the three-year statute of limitations. Bryant now appeals, asserting that the chancellor erred in dismissing her complaint.

         FACTS

         ¶3. On December 22, 2010, Cooley signed and executed a warranty deed transferring his interest in his home located at 725 Grace Avenue to Dent. Cooley died on January 16, 2011. In April 2011, Bryant was appointed administrator of Cooley's estate. Bryant is Cooley's niece.

         ¶4. In July 2011, Bryant filed her first complaint against Dent in the Forrest County Chancery Court alleging the deed was void due to Cooley's lack of capacity, undue influence, and fraud. Bryant asked the court to confirm and quiet title of the property in the name of Cooley's estate. Bryant also filed a notice of lis pendens in the local land records noting the pending suit as a cloud upon the title of the property. On May 21, 2012, Dent executed a warranty deed transferring title of the property in question to Christopher and Cathy Gray.

         ¶5. Due to lack of prosecution, the chancellor dismissed Bryant's first complaint without prejudice on October 19, 2016.

         ¶6. Bryant refiled her complaint against Dent and included the Grays as defendants (collectively Dent). Bryant then amended her complaint in February 2, 2017, claiming the deed was also void because Cooley's wife, Overa, did not sign the deed ...


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