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Litigation Newsletter

  • Personal Injury and Civil Claims and the Burden of Proof
    Crimes are wrongful acts against society for which punishment may be imposed. Where an individual is injured through the wrongful action (“tort”) of another, the law may also give the injured party the right to file a civil... Read more.
  • Recoverable Damages for Copyright Infringement
    Under U.S. law, creators of artistic works, including literary and dramatic works, music, choreography, paintings, sculpture, sound recordings, and movies, automatically have a copyright in the work, provided it is... Read more.
  • Party and Non-Party Depositions in Civil Lawsuits
    Once a lawsuit is filed to recover damages for a personal injury, breach of contract, or other cause of action, the case will usually proceed through several phases. The first phase of a lawsuit usually entails the preparation and... Read more.
  • An Overview of Structured Settlements
    There are numerous legal situations in which a person may receive a large sum of money through a court award or settlement. Often arising as compensation for personal injuries or other acts, most such payouts are reduced due to some or... Read more.
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Remedy for Fraudulent Transfers of Property

A constructive trust is a remedy imposed by a court when a person has wrongfully attained property in an inappropriate way. The court will undo the transaction and order that title to the property go to the rightful owner.

Types of Wrongful Conduct

Any wrongful activity that leads to the unfair obtainment of property may be cause for a constructive trust, including:

  • Fraud (including forgery)
  • Theft (including embezzlement)
  • Accident
  • Mistake
  • Undue influence
  • Violation of fiduciary duty (for example, where a partner purchases property in his own name rather than in the name of the partnership)

Factors

In order for a constructive trust to be created, the following factors must exist:

  • Fraudulent representations or concealment of important and material information, or breach of trust
  • Acts such as transfer of property as a result of the fraud or breach
  • Profit and/or unjust enrichment as a result of fraudulent representation or concealment of important and material information

Remedy Under Constructive Trusts

A constructive trust is imposed when an affected party initiates a lawsuit requesting relief. It typically provides that the property pass from the wrongful owner to the rightful owner.

However, if the unlawful owner has damaged or destroyed any of the property, the rightful owner is entitled to a money judgment for the value of the property.


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