Sale and purchase of residential real estate

Find the opinion of the Oregon Court of Appeals in the 2008 case of <i>Helen Sollars (aka Helen Kelly) and Estate of Helene Valoff v. City of Milwaukie, and answer the following questions about the case. Please number your answers and, for the sake of clarity, refer to the parties as “the Seller”, “the Buyer”, and “the City”; avoid using names or “plaintiff” or “defendant” to identify the parties.

  1. The case caption says that Helen Sollars (aka Helen Kelly) and the Estate of Helene Valoff are the plaintiffs in the case and that the City of Milwaukie is the Defendant. Why is the City of Milwaukie a party in the case? Why did the City of Milwaukie fail to appear (file any documents with) the Court of Appeals? This answer should take you only a few sentences.
  2. Compare this case with the “Ohio treasure trove case”. If the link is not working, you will find that article in the Chapter 1 Illustrative Articles. (Note: If you find yourself looking at a tax case, you are not looking in the right place!)
    1. What were the legal issues that were at the core of the treasure trove case?
    2. Are the legal issues that the Sollars case is based upon the same as those presented by the treasure trove case? If not, how are they different?

This answer will take a couple of paragraphs.

3. What were the conflicting arguments of the buyer and the estate in the Sollars case about the language of the contract? (Please use legal terminology.) Again, a couple of well-thought out paragraphs should be sufficient

4. Do you feel that the language of the contract was unambiguous? If so, what do you think the clear meaning of the contract was? In other words, do you think the Court of Appeals or the trial court was right? (Remember that the Supreme Court hasn’t yet ruled on this, so we don’t yet have the Last Word on the matter and you can’t say that “the Oregon Court of Appeals was right because it had the last word.”) If you feel that the language was ambiguous, what are the potential meanings you see, and which one do you feel the court should have applied? Why? A couple of paragraphs should be okay.

5. Rewrite the “personal property” provision of the contract to make it clearer in regard to unknown property on the premises. (Note: Don’t tell me what your provision would be intended to do: write the provision!) Can you see any problems that might arise from including your language in all contracts for the sale and purchase of residential real estate?

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