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Michalski v. United States

Decided: February 27, 1958.

GEORGE MICHALSKI AND ANGELINA MICHALSKI, PLAINTIFFS,
v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, STATE OF NEW JERSEY, BUILDERS LUMBER & SUPPLY COMPANY, ROLAND BOUCHER AND PHYLLIS BOUCHER, DEFENDANTS



Foley, J.c.c. (temporarily assigned).

Foley

This is an action to quiet title.

The parties have agreed that the matter be submitted for determination upon the pretrial order as amended and briefs. While the defendants do not stipulate the facts recited

in the plaintiffs' pretrial factual contentions, they are willing that such statement be accepted by the Court as if proven.

On June 19, 1949 the plaintiffs acquired an undivided one-half interest in real property consisting of two "semidetached" dwellings located at No. 10 and No. 12 Mott Street, Trenton, New Jersey by warranty deed. By the same instrument the remaining undivided one-half interest was conveyed to Attilio Guerriero and Laura Guerriero, respectively the father and mother of the female plaintiff. This deed was recorded in the Mercer County Clerk's office on July 28, 1949.

At the time of the conveyance the four persons named gave back $2,000 mortgage which has since been paid, the plaintiffs contributing 50% of the payment sum.

On December 6, 1949 all four co-tenants conveyed their interest in No. 10 to one Pietro Granaldi.

On May 10, 1950 the Guerrieros conveyed their interest in No. 12 to the Michalskis who, on the same day, either through ignorance or negligence, "recorded" the deed with the City Engineer of the City of Trenton. It was not recorded in the office of the Mercer County Clerk until March 27, 1956.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs continued in the sole and exclusive possession of No. 12 as they had since the original acquisition of this property, paying all taxes levied on it and defraying the costs of repairs, alterations and improvements amounting to approximately $3,400.

Sometime after disposing of his interest in No. 12 Guerriero embarked upon a business venture which subsequently came a cropper with the result that on February 3, 1955 the U.S. Government filed a lien against him in the amount of $4,263.27 plus interest; on February 8, 1955, April 14, 1955, and November 7, 1955 the Division of Employment Security of this State entered certificates of debt against him aggregating approximately $4,900, and on October 19, 1955 the Builders Lumber & Supply Co. recovered a judgment of $3,936.61 plus costs in this Court.

The remaining fact of importance is that none of the judgment creditors had either actual notice or knowledge of the existence of the unrecorded deed of May 10, 1950 at the time their ...


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