McCoy v. Love

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McCoy v. Love
Court Florida Supreme Court
Date decided December 27, 1979


Mary Elliott (plaintiff) owned 15 acres of land with minerals underneath it in Florida.

In 1972, Russell approached Elliott to purchase Elliott's land interest including the mineral interest underneath the land.

Elliott reluctantly agreed to the sale of 2 acres in an oral contract. Russell drafted a written deed and managed to get the signature of Elliott (who was illiterate) for all 15 acres of land.

Less than 1 month later, Russell acknowledge the mistake to Elliott in conveyance of 15 acres as opposed to 2 acres in the written deed. In February 1972, Russell purportedly conveyed 13 acres back to Elliott in another deed. However, 5 days prior, Russeell had conveyed large portions of the land to Love, Harris, and Carpenter (defendants).

Subsequently, a title search made it clear to Mary Elliott that she had no additional land interests left to convey to more buyers.

Procedural History

Elliott sued Love. Elliott wins. The trial court conclude that the deed of conveyance was void because it was obtained by fraud from Elliott.

The Florida appellate court reversed the judgement of the trial court--concluding that the deed was voidable rather than void. Love was a bona fide purchaser who didn't know about the fraud committed in earlier transactions against Mary Elliott.

Russell died; so, McCoy continued the legal suit on her behalf.


Is a properly executed & delivered deed obtained by fraud in the inducement void?


A properly executed & delivered deed obtained by fraud in the inducement isn't void, but rather is voidable by the defrauded grantor.