Allen v. Allen

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Allen v. Allen
Court Massachusetts Appeals Court
Citation 16 N.E.3d 1078
Date decided September 16, 2014


  • Mrs. Allen had 6 grown children with her deceased husband
  • Harold (a son) claimed that Mrs. Allen executed a deed in July 2001 conveying the parents' house to him & Mrs. Allen (her mother) as joint tenants. Her claimed that the preparing attorney had signed an acknowledgment
  • In November 2001, Mrs. Allen conveyed the same family home to her daughter Deborah & herself upon her death; thus, her daughter would inherit the home once the mother died.
  • Mrs. Allen (the mother who owned the family home) died in 2009
  • Allen = plaintiff = family daughter
  • Allen = defendant = family son

Procedural History

  • Deborah sued Harold in a trial court in Massachusetts
  • The judge determined that the July 2001 acknowledgment (notarized copy) of Harold was defective.
  • Harold lost.


Is proper recording & acknowledgment of a deed conveying land required to provide constructive notice?


Deborah argued that Harold's deed of July 2001 was forged.


Yes; proper recording & acknowledgment of a deed conveying land is required to provide constructive notice.

Harold's July 2001 wasn't effectively recorded in accordance with Massachusetts property law.




The purpose of recording statutes is to provide protections & reliable registry records for grantees.