In estate-related case, Magistrate in Chancery decides who owns a 1937 Ford Coupe

Delaware Fiduciary Litigation Blog

Posted January 10, 2024

Lisa Anderson v. Randall Lee Hill, et al., C.A. No. 2018-0449-SEM (January 5, 2024)

          In this estate-related case, Plaintiff and Defendant argued over the rightful ownership of a 1937 Ford Coupe (the “Coupe”) that the Defendant contended he had purchased from the Plaintiff’s late husband (the “Decedent”) prior to his death. The Plaintiff claimed that she was contemporaneously unaware of that purported sale and did not sign off on it. Both the Plaintiff and the Decedent were named on the original title of the Coupe, but the Coupe’s ownership was also ultimately titled “and/or.”

          The Magistrate explained that as Plaintiff and Decedent, a married couple, were both named on the original title of the Coupe—supporting the presumption that the Coupe was held by them by the entireties—the burden shifted to the Defendant to prove that was not actually the case.  The Defendant failed to make that showing.  Relying on the precedent in In Re Giant and Fischer, the Magistrate recommended finding that the Decedent’s purported transfer of the Coupe constituted equitable fraud and that the transfer of title to Defendant be rescinded.

           The Magistrate also concluded that neither the Defendant nor the Plaintiff had litigated in bad faith. Also somewhat notable is that the Magistrate concluded that no restitution is to be awarded to the Defendant as he failed to provide proof that he actually paid the Decedent for the car.


William M. Kelleher, Director
Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.
Alex Kelleher