Hamm v. HazelwoodAnnotate this Case
In 1989, Dorothy Hamm executed a deed of gift transferring her one-half interest in a parcel of property to Melba Clark. The deed of gift reserved a life estate for Dorothy. Dorothy died in 2004. In her will, Dorothy left any interest she had in the property to her son, Edward Hamm. In the deed of gift, Dorothy included a provision that sought to create a contingent reversionary interest in Dorothy in the event that Melba’s son, Reginald Clarke, ever acquired any interest in the property. Melba later died intestate, and the administrator of her estate sought a declaration that the possibility-of-reverter provision in the deed was void as an impermissible restraint on alienation. The circuit court agreed and struck the possibility of reverter from the conveyance. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the circuit court erred in declaring the possibility-of-reverter provision to be void, as no rule of law or equity forbade Dorothy from making her conveyance subject to the condition that the conveyance to Melba would revert if Reginald ever acquired any interest in the property.