Decisions – Miss.Ct.App. – August 12, 2014

Wright v. Henley et al. – The Henleys owned three duplexes on Myer Avenue in Jacksson. One of the properties was foreclosed upon and was purchased by the Wrights. After purchasing the property, the Wrights discovered that the property taxes were greater than expected. As it turned out, when the Henleys purchased the three properties, although they financed the properties through different lenders, their attorney used the same legal description on all three duplexes. When the Wrights checked into the property tax situation, they learned that the description of the property they purchased included all three duplexes. They began to accept rent from all three duplexes. The Henleys moved to set aside the foreclosure. They were granted a TRO whereby the Wrights had to put all the rents into the court register. After a trial, the chancellor ordered that the mistake in the deed description be reformed to reflect that the Wrights owned only one duplex and that all rents be paid to the Henleys. The Wrights filed a motion to amend the judgment and the chancellor reduced the award by $7,041.98 for the Wright’s payment of the property taxes and insurance on the properties they did not end up owning. The Wrights appealed claiming that they were bona fide purchasers without notice and the deed should have been construed in their favor. They also argue that the Henleys were unjustly enriched. The Court affirms holding that the Wrights were not bona fide purchasers without knowledge. They set out to buy one duplex. When they discovered an issue with the property description they did not do a thorough inquiry to determine what happened. As for the damages, the Wrights argue that they spent some $26,000 maintaining the properties. THe Court finds that the Wrights were given credit for the money they spent on taxes and insurance but that the court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to credit them for more.

Renfro v. The City of Moss Point – Renfro was fired as a police officer for Moss Point for insubordination. After midnight on June 16, 2011, Renfro was off duty when he decided he was bored and rode into Moss Point. Another officer, Guerror heard Renfro over the police radio. He was eventually able to make out that Renfro was reporting that he had seen a drug transaction. Guerrero met up with Renfro he said he was going to drive back and see if the vehicle was still there. He radioed Guerrero that the vehicle was about to drive off. Guerrero stopped the vehicle for a traffic violation and then arrested the occupant for misdemeanor possession of drugs. Guerrero was concerned that Renfro was intoxicated since his speech was slurred. Other officers he heard the radio transmissions also thought Renfro’s speech was slurred. Corp. Shipman called Renfro and asked what he was doing there and Renfro said something about a task force. Shipman requested to meet with Renfro who declined. Meanwhile, because officers were reporting to Renfro’s drug case, Shipman responded to the burglary call from which Guerrero was been interrupted. During a foot pursuit, someone tried to run over Shipman with a car. When Chief Davis heard the concerns about Renfro, he called Renfro and he, too, thought his speech was slurred. Davis sent two officers to Renfro’s house but although Renfro’s truck was there, Renfro did not come to the door or answer his phone. He finally came to the station that morning. Renfro used to take a portable breath test or sign a Garrity form advising him that his responses could not be used against him to convict him of a crime. WHen Davis informed Renfro he had no option, he blew a .075%. And although he signed the Garrity form., he refused to answer any questions without a lawyer. Renfro was fired for insubordination which was upheld all the way up the chain of appeals including the Miss.Ct. of Appeals.

<em>McLeod v. McLeodprenup – Willie and Jeanell McLeod were married in 2001. They had no children together but each had children from before the marriage. The day before the wedding, they signed a prenup prepared by Willie’s attorney whereby they agreed they would maintain their separate property. Willie had considerable assets while Jeanelle did not. Willie filed for divorce in 2008 on the grounds of adultery. Jeanelle moved to have the prenup declared invalid because it was not notarized, it did not contain full financial disclosures, that she did not have tome to review the agreement, and that Willie had accumulated substantial assets during the marriage. The chancellor held the agreement invalid finding clear and convincing evidence that Willie Fraudulently induced Jeanelle to sign the prenup. On appeal the Court reverses finding that Jeanelle did not present credible evidence that she did not sign the agreement voluntarily. And while Willie argues that there was a full disclosure of assets, a prenup may be valid even where there is not. The Court finds that the prenup is enforceable and remands so that the chancellor can divide the assets accordingly.

Renita Bishop v the Miss.Dept. of Employment Securityunemployment benefits – Bishop voluntarily quit her job as assistant manager for Gresham Service Stations inb Greenville. SHe then applied for unemployment benefits. The ALJ, Commission and Circuit Court agreed she was not entitled to benefits because she quit. Bishop, representing herself is undetered and appeals again. And loses.

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