from the Iowa District Court for Polk County, Jeanie K.
appeals the district court decision quieting title to certain
real property in defendant Alice Carter.
L. Leitner of Leitner Law Office, West Des Moines, for
Oberbillig and Brian Shea (law student) of Drake Law School
Legal Clinic, Des Moines, for appellees the Carters.
Cassius Robinson and Dena Robinson, Ankeny, appellees pro se.
Considered by Potterfield, P.J., and Bower and McDonald, JJ.
Andrews appeals the district court decision quieting title to
certain real property in Alice Carter. We find Ruby Smiley
intended for Alice to have present title to the property,
without any reservation of control, when she gave Alice a
quit claim deed to the property. We also find Betty has not
established the right to establish a constructive trust by
clear, convincing, and satisfactory evidence. We affirm the
decision of the district court.
Background Facts & Proceedings
Smiley was the mother of Betty Andrews and Alice Carter. Ruby
and her husband, Charlie Smiley, obtained a warranty deed for
their home at 1530 16th Street in Des Moines in 1999.
2002, Ruby wrote a letter which stated if Charlie did not
want to live in the house after she died, he should sell it
and split the proceeds between Betty and Alice. In 2005, Ruby
wrote another letter, stating the house should go to Charlie
on her death, but if he did not want it, the house should be
sold and the proceeds split between Betty and Alice. In
February 2007, Ruby wrote a document stating Charlie should
have two-thirds of the proceeds from the house if she
and Charlie transferred the property to Alice, for no
consideration, by a quit claim deed on March 30,
2007. On August 14, 2008, Alice signed a quit
claim deed placing the property in her name and that of Ruby,
again for no consideration. Alice testified Ruby asked her to
do this because Ruby wanted to receive FEMA assistance with
the home. On October 15, 2008, Ruby obtained a mortgage on
the home and signed a property lien. On April 16, 2009, Ruby
signed a document pertaining to a disaster relief grant as
the homeowner of the property.
and Charlie continued to live in the home until their
deaths-Charlie in 2010, Ruby in 2011. On June 14, 2013, Alice
transferred her interest in the property to Cassius and Dena
Robinson by a quit claim deed for the stated consideration of
January 28, 2016, Betty filed a petition to quiet title,
claiming Ruby transferred title to the property to Alice to
facilitate management of her assets but intended for the
house to be sold at Ruby's death and the proceeds divided
equally between Betty and Alice. Betty claimed Alice held the