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Defendants, vendor and vendee, sought

Defendants, vendor and vendee, sought review of a decision of the District Court, Third Judicial District, Alameda County (California), which determined that the judgment and proceedings related to the parties’ predecessors in interest’s action were not a bar to plaintiff property owners’ action against defendants to procure a conveyance of the legal title to certain property.

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Overview

The parties’ predecessors in interest were involved in litigation concerning the amount of money that was owed under their real estate contract. Under the contract, the vendee was obligated to pay the vendor $ 6,000 and to relinquish by quitclaim deed most of the property that the vendor had conveyed to him. The district court awarded the vendor $ 1,600. Thereafter, the property owners commenced an action against defendants for the purpose of procuring a conveyance of the legal title to certain property. The district court ruled that the judgment and proceedings from the parties’ predecessors in interest’s action were not a bar to the parties’ action. The court reversed the district court’s judgment. The court held that with respect to the predecessors in interest’s action, no demand was necessary in order to enable the vendee to maintain an action against the vendor for a breach of the covenant to convey because the vendor’s refusal to take the first step in the path of obedience to his covenant was such an act of bad faith as to warrant to the conclusion that an express demand for further performance would have been fruitless.

Outcome

The court reversed the district court’s determination that the judgment and proceedings from the parties’ predecessors in interest’s action were not a bar to the property owners’ action against defendants for the purpose of procuring a conveyance of the legal title to certain property.