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09/23/94 RUBY F. LONG v. CHARLES L. LONG

September 23, 1994

RUBY F. LONG
v.
CHARLES L. LONG, JERRY L. LONG, SHARRON L. LONG, AND JERRI ANN



Appeal from Pike Circuit Court. (CV-93-R-135)

Holmes, Retired Appellate Judge

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Holmes

HOLMES, Retired Appellate Judge

This is an appeal from the granting of a motion for summary judgment in favor of Charles L. Long, Jerry L. Long, Sharron L. Long, and Jerri Ann Long (plaintiffs).

The plaintiffs filed a complaint, wherein they alleged that they were the owners of certain real estate described in two deeds, dated August 22, 1985, which were attached to the complaint. In their complaint the plaintiffs requested that the trial court issue an order, removing and ejecting Ruby F. Long (defendant) from their real property and enjoining the defendant from interfering with the use and enjoyment of their real property.

Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment. After a hearing the trial court issued an order, wherein it found that no genuine issue of material fact existed and that the plaintiffs were entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. The trial court granted the motion for summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered the defendant to remove herself and her personal property from the described real property. It also ordered the defendant to refrain from interfering with the use and enjoyment of the real property.

The defendant appeals. This case is before this court pursuant to Ala. Code 1975, § 12-2-7(6).

The dispositive issue on appeal is whether the trial court erred in granting the motion for summary judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. The defendant contends that the trial court committed reversible error because, she says, there exists a genuine issue of a material fact.

Rule 56(c), A.R. Civ. P., provides that summary judgment is appropriate in situations where there exists no genuine issue of any material fact and the movant is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. It is well settled that the moving party has the burden of establishing that there exists no genuine issue of a material fact and that all reasonable uncertainties regarding the existence of a genuine issue of a material fact must be resolved against the moving party. Porter v. Fisher, 636 So. 2d 682 (Ala. Civ. App. 1994).

Once the movant makes a prima facie showing that no genuine issue of a material fact exists, then the burden shifts to the non-moving party to present substantial evidence regarding the existence of a genuine issue of a material fact. Porter, 636 So. 2d 682.

Our review of the record reveals the following pertinent facts: Jerry L. Long is the son of C.R. Long, and the remaining plaintiffs are the children of Jerry L. Long and the grandchildren of C.R. Long. The defendant was married to C.R. Long for a number of years. Jerry L. Long is the defendant's stepson.

Between 1965 and 1985, there were a series of conveyances (a total of eight deeds) of the subject real property involving C.R. Long and his wife, the defendant, and Jerry L. Long and his heirs. We would note that although none of the deeds ever specifically named the defendant as a grantee, it would appear that under the law, the defendant had an interest in the subject real property as the wife of C.R. Long.

Ultimately, two deeds, dated August 22, 1985, were executed by C.R. Long and the defendant, conveying the subject real property to the plaintiffs. Both of the deeds dated August 22, 1985, contained the following language: "A life estate is retained herein to the aforegranted property interests conveyed to [the plaintiffs] for the remainder of the natural life of C.R. Long." C.R. Long died in August 1993.

Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed the present action, seeking to have the defendant removed from ...


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