Kajo Church Square, Inc. v. Walker

2003 WL 1848555 (2003)


Ps transferred ownership of two parcels of land to the Grace Church. Part of the transfer was a gift, and part was a sale. The deed does not include any language which would indicate that the couples had reserved a life estate for themselves. Grace then leased one of the parcels of land back to Ps. The document stated that the lease would continue in effect until 'the date of death of the last of the Lessees to die.' Grace eventually sold the acreage to D and the church building to the D Trust. D then notified Ps that it was terminating the lease. Ps filed a declaratory judgment action against D, asking the court to declare the rights and responsibilities of all parties as to the property. Ps sought a declaratory judgment that they had retained a life estate interest in the property or, in the alternative, that their lease of the property was a lease for life, terminable only upon the death of all four Ds. The trial court granted Ps' motion and denied D's. D appealed.