Editor:Paul F. Sherman, Esquire
Insufficient proof of damages incurred due to Defendant's
failure to pay condo assessments, fees and costs results in reversal
and remand. The Manors at Village Green Condominium, Inc. v. Webb, No. 95067 (Mo. App. E.D., April 26, 2011), Sullivan, P.J.
Webb owns a condo unit in The Manors, located in St. Louis County.
The Manors Association (Plaintiff) sets and levies assessments to
maintain the complex. On July 31, 2009 Plaintiff filed suit to collect
from Defendant for unpaid assessments, late fees and costs. Webb filed
no answer and trial occurred May 5, 2010. Webb had not paid since
April 30, 2009. Plaintiff's management is handled by AMC. Webb
admitted no payments made since May 2009. The trial court awarded
Plaintiff $6,575 for past assessments due, late fees and attorney
fees. Webb appeals, disputing the court's calculations and arguing
they were not supported. The court noted that Webb failed to
affirmatively aver payment as a defense, however that doesn't excuse
Plaintiff's duty to prove its damages. AMC's predecessor Grier
Group's failure to keep accurate records resulted in numbers that were
"speculative at best." Therefore, judgment reversed and remanded for
the trial court to re-evaluate the appropriateness of damages with a
Beneficiary deed held invalid due to execution by non-owner
pursuant to version of Section461.008 (8) RSMo., in effect at time of
execution. Delcour, personal representative of the Estate of Jonathon Goodman v. Rakestraw, et al., No. 30538 (Mo. App. S.D., April 25, 2011), Scott, C.J.
This is a post-Pippin v. Pippin, 154 S.W.3d 376 (Mo.App.
2004) review of a 1998 beneficiary deed. Missouri statute at Section
461.025.1 allows the non-probate transfer of property by deed to the
beneficiary effective on death of the owner. "Owner" was amended post-Pippin.
Section 461.005(8), RSMo. In 1998 Kenny Goodman was gifted 80 acres
solely. He and his wife Anita then recorded a beneficiary deed in
favor of their two children effective on the death of the last to die
of Kenny and Anita. Kenny died intestate in 2001. Anita survived,
however, Anita was not the "owner" as defined by the statute. To fail
to follow the statute invalidates the deed. The trial court found the
beneficiary deed valid and determined Kenny's two children owned the
80 acres and Anita Goodman, now Rakestraw, appealed.
While the statute has been amended post-Pippin, Pippin
still controls and the deed does not follow the statute because by its
terms the deed is ineffective until after the death of a non-owner.
Held: Reversed and remanded.
The Missouri Bar Courts Bulletin, 11-Jun