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Moulden v. Hundley

Court of Appeals of Kansas

October 27, 2017

Davis T. Moulden, Appellant/Cross-appellee,
v.
Dustin Hundley, Appellee/Cross-appellant, and Kansas Department of Revenue, et al., Defendants.

          SYLLABUS

         1. Under K.S.A. 59-2239, a party making a claim against a decedent's estate generally must file a petition within six months of the person's death for the court to validate the decedent's will or for the estate to be administered, otherwise the claim will be barred.

         2. K.S.A. 59-2239 applies to a claim made against a motor vehicle titled in the decedent's name.

         3. In this case, because the claimant failed to file a petition against the decedent's estate within six months of the decedent's death, claimant is barred from making his claim against the motor vehicles titled solely in the decedent's name.

          4. Kansas has a two-year time limit on claims for the taking, detaining, or damaging of personal property. See K.S.A. 60-513(a). The two-year time limit begins to run when the claim accrues, either (1) when the act giving rise to the claim first causes substantial injury or (2) if the injury isn't reasonably ascertainable until some later time, when a person could reasonably ascertain the injury.

         5. A bailment arises when one party (the bailor) leaves personal property with another party (the bailee) on deposit or for some particular purpose under a contractual agreement, either express or implied, that the property will one day be returned to the bailor.

         6. A constructive bailment is created when a person comes into lawful possession of personal property of another and when considerations of fairness support imposition of the bailment.

         7. After a bailee's death, when the bailee's heir keeps bailed property that was in the bailee's possession, a constructive bailment is imposed by law unless the bailee acts in a manner inconsistent with a bailment.

         8. In the case of a bailment for an indefinite period, the cause of action does not accrue until the bailor makes a demand for the property.

          9. In this case, because the bailee's heir kept the bailed property after the bailee's death, a constructive trust was imposed by law. Accordingly, the cause of action did not accrue until the bailor made a demand on the heir for return of the property. The suit, which was filed within two years of that demand, was timely.

         Appeal from Leavenworth District Court; David J. King, judge. Affirmed.

          Jeffery A. Sutton, of Sutton Law Office, L.L.C., of Basehor, for appellant/cross-appellee.

          John W. Fresh, of Farris & Fresh Law Office, of Atchison, for appellee/cross-appellant.

          Before Green, P.J., Buser and Leben, JJ.

          Leben, J.

         After Hope Hundley's death, her husband, Dustin Hundley, and her father, Davis Moulden, got into disputes over who owned two cars and some household furniture that Davis had transferred to Hope during her lifetime. The district court concluded that the cars belonged to Dustin, as Hope's heir, because Hope had obtained title to the cars-and because Davis didn't make a claim for the cars against her estate within six months as required by a statute, K.S.A. 59-2239. The ...


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