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proprietary estoppel - what to include

proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby Earl » Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:34 am

Hi,
Looking for a discussion on the merits of what to include or exclude from claim.
Have been reading a lots of case notes, and see they do include a sort of history of the relationships, which leads me to ask myself about my relationship with the defendant.

He is my father and on reviewing my childhood, I now see that he has personality disorder, he could be described as an egotistical narcissists. Google it if you want the low down on this personality type.

He is a bully, selfish, has no empathy, he likes to humiliate, control, he lies to reach his own ends, short tempered and prone to explosive rages, derisive of others, has no close friends but like to be noticed, feels superior to everybody; get the picture a nasty bastard.

As kids growing up you think all parents are the same, you accept what he doles out verbally, physically. You trust his advice, you respect him, even try to love him because that what you are taught to do at school and church. Work had to please him. But what if all outward appearances are a sham and life behind the walls is a different story.

I will not go on about the humiliations, or verbal abuse, or the physical abuse, just accept that it happened.

Now what I want to discuss is in a proprietary estoppel case, or in my case should this be included or excluded. I'm in a quandary.
Think of me as Eirian Davies, but with a rubbish childhood that left me insecure, shy, unable to even use a telephone, suffering from constant blushing should someone even look at me, trying to thinks of a career, trying to escape to uni. Outwardly normally inwardly destroyed.

Got a place to go to uni, but over the summer dad talked me out of it saying it was a waste of time, at the same time telling me he had put my name on one of his properties and suggesting I come and work for him and learn the business.

This I did, trusted his advice that uni for me was a waste of time, trusted him that I couldn't ever be a doctor or hairdresser because I wouldn't be capable etc.

Worked for him for months only to find myself doing menial tasks, DiY, cleaning. (also point out at this time He was going through an acrimonious divorce and I was living with him, so I was chief cook and bottle washer as well)

Couldn't stick him and eventually the job, so ran off with boyfriend for a brief period.

So now my claim is not so much based on the work I have done for him, I did not ever work long hours on a farm, but I have been his fall back position, looking after things if he was ill, away, unavailable, his confident his rock, his person to pick on.............he has controlled me and bullied me, humiliated me in front of my partners, ruined relationships for me, years and years he just appears to like to make me cry.........and all I have done is to try and make him see ME, respect me, appreciate me, and my achievements..............

So do I go back all the way and say that I could never get away and believed all his lies, and that I had nothing else to cling to except my promised properties and inheritance so let myself be used and abused, or do I just start at a point pretending my childhood was normal..........

What I am looking at is if I state that I was made inadequate by my father dose he then counter that he was doing me a favour by giving me a job in the first instance. I'm again thinking of Eirian Davies, and her position re mine, if, her parents had destroyed her, wouldn't they argue that giving her a job was the best thing they could have done...........
Trouble is all I can see is being asked, or to justify, why I believed him, why I let him torment me, why I became his verbal punch bag, why I let him control me, and it all comes back to his sort of grooming me to be his victim for life. And after allowing him to do this over the years and getting more vicious all I could console myself with was the promise of property and inheritance and running the business one day.

So not so much about financial payback but emotional, or do I rely on the quasi bargain that I was promised properties for being there when he needed me in the business and avoid all the emotional stuff. (and here we go around in circles in my head being there, when he needed me, left me available to this bully and his antics.

Thoughts ideas please.
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby atticus » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:11 am

Does anyone know who Eirean Davies is without resorting to Google?
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby atticus » Thu Nov 24, 2016 9:16 am

Can dls post a link to Thorner v Majors?

The OP needs to understand that to make out a case of promissory estoppel it is necessary to show a promise (or promises) made to her by her father that she relied upon to her detriment, and which she now seeks to enforce. She hints at these at the end.

Everything else is background. Usefull for setting the scene.
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby Earl » Thu Nov 24, 2016 12:52 pm

Hi,
Sorry about the typo. Eirian.
I have all that is necessary to make out a case. But the question asked was how much background.
The scene is he is a bully, a controller.
I carried out his wishes on the understanding that the promises would be honoured. But while carrying out his wishes I had to withstand his torment, bullying. So how much of the torment or emotional loss as I have noted in cases should one include. His actions have promoted my depression. Some claimants suffered financial loss, and put up with low pay. I put up with a vile person in my life in exchange for the properties.
When does the background start, when he bullied me as a child and when I accepted those terms in being his daughter, or when he first promised me a property, in exchange for being a good daughter. Most of my determent is emotional, mental, allowing him to deride me, strip me of my self esteem, verbally abuse me, and I sat there and allowed him because he had promised me properties for being there for him, and often that was just for conversations and discussions and confidences, or to run things when he was ill but I had to do it with his constant belittling of my life.

Sorry if you do not understand from where I'm coming from, so lets give you an example. At a family dinner with brother-in-law who I didn't know well at all, dad starts one of his attacks, virtually calls me a whore in front of my son, you laugh it off and say yes I've had a couple of boyfriends who wouldn't if they were single for a long time and 40, there's a pause then the next attack 'you could have been so much better' laugh it off again and say that you think you're done pretty well in owing your own home, raising a kid on your own etc etc. Then there's another attack and by then you can't hold the tears back, brother-in-law so shocked at the verbal attacks gets me to leave the table and takes me to the village pub, and gets me and my son home. Question from son and b-I-l why do you put up with it, answer is I want to keep my inheritance and can't upset him.

So can we start the discussion again, but looking at detriment at an emotional level.
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby dls » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:16 pm

All the stuff about bullying is significant to the OP personally, but does not go far (if at all) toward establishing a proprietary estoppel.

It comes down to exactly what promise was made, in what words, and on what occasion, and what was done relying upon such promise, and in what way has has attempted to withdraw the promise. Estoppel is a request to a court to stop somebody going back on a promise they have made.
telling me he had put my name on one of his properties and suggesting I come and work for him and learn the business.


Is a start, but is not exactly a promise, and is not exactly precise.
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby dls » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:29 pm

Thorner v Major and others: HL 25 Mar 2009
References: [2009] UKHL 18, [2009] 13 EG 142, [2009] WTLR 71, [2009] Fam Law 583, [2009] 2 FLR 405, [2009] 1 WLR 776
Links: Bailii, Times, HL
Coram: Lord Hoffmann, Lord Scott of Foscote, Lord Rodger of Earlsferry, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe, Lord Neuberger
Ratio: The deceased had made a will including a gift to the claimant, but had then revoked the will. The claimant asserted that an estoppel had been created in his favour over a farm, and that the defendant administrators of the promisor's estate held it under bare trust for him.
Held: The claimant's appeal succeeded. A proprietary estoppel might be established by acts falling short of an explicit promise, provided that they were otherwise sufficiently clear. A small change in the property need not necessarily destroy such a trust provided the property remained essentially identifiable. In summary: 'a. An assurance may be sufficient to found an estoppel even if it is not made expressly; it can be made in oblique and allusive terms; it may be subject to unspoken and ill defined qualifications;
b. Of importance is whether the encouragement given was 'clear enough' for the person to whom the assurance was made to form a reasonable view that he was being given an assurance that he would inherit the relevant property ;
c. This is an issue of fact heavily dependent upon the context in which the assurance or assurances was or were made (including the characteristics of the protagonists, the relationship between them and whether assurances were repeated and formed part of a pattern) on which evidence to the parties' subjective understanding of what they were agreeing is admissible;
d. It is unnecessary for the person giving the assurance to know the Claimant was thinking of alternative courses of action at the time the assurances were given; it is also unnecessary for there to have been a dramatic announcement in front of assembled witnesses or a 'signature event'.'
Lord Neuberger said: 'It should be emphasised that I am not seeking to cast doubt on the proposition, heavily relied upon by the Court of Appeal, that there must be some sort of an assurance which is 'clear and unequivocal before it can be relied upon to find an estoppel. However, that proposition must be read as subject to three qualifications. First, it does not detract from the normal principle so well articulated in this case by Lord Walker that the effect of words or actions must be assessed in their context. Just as a sentence can have one meaning in one context and a very different meaning in another context so can a sentence, which will be ambiguous and unclear in one context, be a clear and unambiguous assurance in another context . . Secondly, it would be quite wrong to be unrealistically rigorous when applying the 'clear and unambiguous' test. The Court should not search for ambiguity or uncertainty, but should assess the question of clarity and certainty practically and sensibly, as well as contextually . . Thirdly -- there may be cases where the statement relied on to find an estoppel could amount to an assurance which could reasonably be understood as having more than one possible meaning. In such a case, if the facts otherwise satisfy all the requirements of an estoppel, it seems to me that, at least normally, the ambiguity should not deprive a person who reasonably relied on the assurance of all relief; it may well be right, however, that he should be accorded relief on the basis of the interpretation least beneficial to him'.
Lord Walker discussed the clarity necessary to found an estoppel: 'I would prefer to say (while conscious that it is a thoroughly question-begging formulation) that to establish a proprietary estoppel the relevant assurance must be clear enough. What amounts to sufficient clarity, in a case of this sort, is hugely dependent on context.'
This case cites:
    - At First Instance - Thorner v Curtis and others ChD (Bailii, [2007] EWHC 2422 (Ch))
    The claimant said that the deceased, his father and a farmer, had made representations to him over many years that if the claimant continued to work on the farm, he would leave the farm to him in his will. He died intestate. He claimed a proprietary . .
    - Appeal from - Thorner v Major and others CA ((2008-09) 11 ITELR 344, [2008] 2 FCR 435, Bailii, [2008] EWCA Civ 732, [2008] WTLR 1289, [2009] 3 All ER 945)
    The deceased had written a will, revoked it but then not made another. The claimant had worked for the deceased understanding that property would be left to him, and now claimed that the estate property was held under a trust for him.
    Held: . .
    - Cited - Ramsden v Dyson HL ([1866] LR 1 HL 129, [1866] 12 Jur NS 506)
    The Vice-Chancellor had held that two tenants of Sir John Ramsden, the owner of a large estate near Huddersfield, were entitled to long leases of plots on the estate. They ostensibly held the plots as tenants at will only, but they had spent their . .
    - Cited - Clarke v Edinburgh and District Tramways Co HL (1919 SC (HL) 35)
    The House considered the ability of an appellate court to reconsider the facts.
    Held: The privileges enjoyed by a trial judge extend not only to questions of credibility.
    Lord Shaw said that the judge enjoys 'those advantages, sometimes . .
    - Cited - Yeoman's Row Management Ltd and Another v Cobbe HL (Bailii, [2008] UKHL 55, Times, [2008] 35 EG 142, [2008] 31 EG 88, [2008] WTLR 1461, [2008] 1 WLR 1752, HL)
    The parties agreed in principle for the sale of land with potential development value. Considerable sums were spent, and permission achieved, but the owner then sought to renegotiate the deal.
    Held: The appeal succeeded in part. The finding . .
    - Cited - Uglow v Uglow and others CA (Bailii, [2004] EWCA Civ 987, [2004] WTLR 1183.)
    The deceased had in 1976 made a promise to the claimant. The promise was not honoured in the will, and the claimant asserted a proprietary estoppel.
    Held: The judge was right to have found that the promise was bound up with the claimant being . .
    - Cited - Gissing v Gissing HL ([1970] 3 WLR 255, [1971] AC 886, [1970] 2 All ER 780, Bailii, [1970] UKHL 3)
    The family home had been purchased during the marriage in the name of the husband only. The wife asserted that she had a beneficial interest in it.
    Held: The principles apply to any case where a beneficial interest in land is claimed by a . .
    - Cited - Dann v Spurrier ((1802) 7 Ves Jun 231, Commonlii, [1789] EngR 482, (1789-1817) 2 Ves Jun Supp 26, (1789) 34 ER 982 (A))
    The tenant had carried out improvements to the property. It was uncertain whether the length of the term (7, 14 or 21 years) was at the option of the lessee alone.
    Held: The case was decided on construction of the lease. Lord Eldon made it . .
    - Cited - Gillett v Holt and Another CA (Times 17-Mar-00, Gazette 23-Mar-00, Bailii, [2000] EWCA Civ 66, [2001] Ch 210, [2000] 2 All ER 289, [2000] 2 WTLR 195, [2000] Fam Law 714, [2000] 1 FCR 705, [2000] 3 WLR 815, [2000] 2 FLR 266)
    Repeated assurances, given over years, that the claimant would acquire an interest in property on the death of the person giving the re-assurance, and upon which the claimant relied to his detriment, could found a claim of equitable estoppel. The . .
    - Cited - In re Basham dec'd; Basham v Basham ([1986] 1 WLR 1498, [1987] 1 All ER 405)
    The claimant and her husband had helped her mother and her stepfather throughout the claimant's adult life. She received no remuneration but understood that she would inherit her stepfather's property when he died. After her mother's death and until . .
    - Cited - JT Developments v Quinn & Another CA ([1991] 2 EGLR 257, (1990) 62 P & CR 33)
    The plaintiff told the defendant it was willing to grant a lease on the same terms as those contained in a new tenancy that the plaintiff had recently granted to the tenant of a nearby shop, also owned by the plaintiff. The defendant carried out . .
    - Cited - Walton v Walton CA (Unreported, 14 April 1994)
    The mother had repeatedly promised to her son that he would inherit her farm in return for which he left school early and had worked for low wages. Her stock phrase to him had been: 'You can't have more money and a farm one day'.
    Held: . .
    - Cited - Layton v Martin ([1986] 2 FLR 227)
    The deceased had written to the Plaintiff offering her 'what emotional security I can give, plus financial security during my life, and financial security on my death.'
    Held: The statement could was insufficient to establish either a . .
    - Cited - Carmichael and Another v National Power Plc HL (Times 23-Nov-99, Gazette 01-Dec-99, Gazette 17-Dec-99, House of Lords, Bailii, [1999] 4 All ER 897, [1999] UKHL 47, [1999] 1 WLR 2042, [2000] IRLR 43, [1999] ICR 1226)
    Staff who worked only as and when required, and who then had the right to turn down work offered were not employees and were not therefore entitled to written particulars of employment. The absence of mutuality and the discontinuity of any . .
(This list may be incomplete)
This case is cited by:
    - Cited - Gill v Woodall and Others ChD (Bailii, [2009] EWHC B34 (Ch), [2009] EWHC 834 (Ch))
    The claimant challenged her late mother's will which had left the entire estate to a charity. She asserted lack of knowledge and approval and coercion, and also an estoppel. The will included a note explaining that no gift had been made because she . .
    - Cited - Nugent v Nugent ChD ([2014] 3 WLR 59, [2014] 2 All ER 313, Bailii, [2013] EWHC 4095 (Ch), [2013] WLR (D) 516, WLRD)
    The court was asked whether the court has, following the the 2002 Act, an inherent power to order the cancellation of a unilateral notice registered against a title registered under the 2002 Act and, if so, in what circumstances, and how, such a . .
    - Cited - Bradley and Another v Heslin and Another ChD (Bailii, [2014] EWHC 3267 (Ch))
    The parties were neighbours. One had a right of way over the other's land. A gate existed over it. B wished to close the gate for security, but H wished it open in order to be able to drive through it without having to get out of his car, and so he . .
    - Cited - Wright v Waters and Another ChD (Bailii, [2014] EWHC 3614 (Ch))
    The claimant sought provision from her late mother's estate under the 1975 Act, and asserting a proprietary estoppel. The mother had transferred £10,000 to the daughter several years before. The mother had said it was to be invested on her . .
    - Cited - Rawlings v Chapman and Others ChD (Bailii, [2015] EWHC 3160 (Ch))
    In 1992 the claimant paid substantial amounts of money towards the cost of building and fitting out a new house on farmland owned by the deceased, Mr. Hopkins, at Aggs Hill, Cheltenham. She alleged that she did so in reliance on promises, frequently . .
(This list may be incomplete)
Jurisdiction: England and Wales

Last Update: 24-Nov-16
Ref: 324694
2016/11/24
Trusts, Estoppel, Wills and Probate

See also: http://www.swarb.co.uk/thorner-v-major- ... -mar-2009/
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby atticus » Thu Nov 24, 2016 2:33 pm

I got a settlement in a case where the promise made to my client was to put her name on the deeds.

See item (a) in the HL decision above.
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby Earl » Sat Nov 26, 2016 6:44 pm

Just to answer dls.
I am not suggesting that the bullying would establish the proprietary estoppel, what I'm trying to get at would the bullying which caused much emotional upset be towards the detriment.
In Davies v Davies the Judge takes note of a difficult relationship, so what of one where the relationship is extremely difficult, where not only are you fulfilling the physical duties required but you are doing them under a constant barrage of verbal abuse. I must point out at this point, and it sounds stupid, but to him duties would include not forgetting his birthday and visiting once a week, inviting him out to dinner and accepting his embarrassing behaviour; and all the time you want to stick a fork in his eye.
My father said he had put me on the deeds of a particular property (36 years he has kept up this fraud) several years later he buys another and put me on the deeds with him as joint tenants, he then in 2012 buys another property again as joint tenants. He then argues with me and throws me out of his house. He then over the next 3 years has gradually striped me of my expected inheritance/properties.
When he started 'giving' us property it was with the implied condition that we were to be good daughters, in essence jump to attention when he called, and latterly over the last 15 years put up with an increasing amount of verbal abuse. It was an understanding that was never verbalised as such, but implied very heavily, and I've upheld my side of the bargain. However dad sees it differently, after he threw me out I didn't go back and grovel for some imaginary wrong he thinks I did, so he is taking his revenge by taking back what was promised and thus breaching our quasi contract.

So is accepting being bullied in exchange for a promised property, detriment. And if it is how much of the shit he has doled out be included.
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby atticus » Sat Nov 26, 2016 10:04 pm

I think the background helps set the scene, and so is important. But the promise and the reliance are key.
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Re: proprietary estoppel - what to include

Postby dls » Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:07 am

The promise and reliance are not just the key, they are 99% of the case. THe difficult family relationships add very little, and indeed, seem to risk burying the promise and reliance.

It is not about retribution for bullying. Other things may properly be about that, but not estoppel.

Judges always talk as if the drafting of pleadings is easy. It is not, but at this stage (pleadings) a much clearer distinction is needed between stating the facts which make up the legal elements of the claim, and the evidence which goes to establish the truth of the facts asserted.

He made a particular promise (details)

I acted upon that promise (details)

To my detriment (details)
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