Question

Defendant Tubbs met her fiancé, Church, over the Internet. After several years of correspondence and visits, they became engaged in February 2000. Church and Tubbs planned to be married in Las Vegas in July 2000. Two months before the engagement, Church paid off $4,100 of Tubbs's credit card debt. He also gave Tubbs an engagement ring that he purchased for $7,274.42. On March 15, 2000, he deposited $194,852.56 in Tubbs's bank account to fund the purchase of land and a residential home in Michigan. Tubbs purchased the home in both of their names as joint tenants, on Church's instructions, and in April she moved in. Church moved some personal property to the residence, including a family heirloom diamond ring. On June 5, 2000, Tubbs e-mailed Church stating that their relationship was over because she was horrified after seeing his "bizarre and abnormal behavior" on the Internet and because she had discovered that he led a "risqué lifestyle as a cross-dresser and bi-sexual." Tubbs rejected Church's demands to repay the $4,100 and to return the engagement ring, his personal property, and her interest in the Michigan home. On July 24, 2000, Church died in England. Church's estate subsequently filed suit to recover the property. The court entered a final judgment entitling the estate to the rings or a money judgment for their values; the real property, partitioned as a matter of law to account for its appreciation; complete right, title, interest, and possession of the land and residential home, free and clear of any claim, right, title, or interest of Tubbs; and a money judgment in the amount of $75,000 (the amount of Tubbs's home equity mortgage), less credits to Tubbs of $13,000 for property taxes she paid from 2000 through 2005, or a modified money judgment in the amount of $62,000. Tubbs appealed. What arguments might she have made on appeal? How do you think the appellate court ruled in this case, and why?


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  • CreatedOctober 21, 2015
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