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Donors' Restrictions in Church Property Deeds

The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that such restrictions are legally enforceable.

• The Arkansas Supreme Court ruled that a donor's restrictions in a deed of property to a church are legally enforceable. In 1944, a donor executed a deed conveying property to a local church. The deed contained the following clause: "This transfer or deed is made with the full understanding that should the property fail to be used for the Church of God, it is to be null and void and property to revert to [the donor] or heirs." Several years later, the church wanted to sell its property and relocate. It asked a local court to cancel the clause in question and confirm that the church owned absolute title to the property. The trial court granted the church the relief it requested, noting that the donor's reserved interest in the property was void on the ground that it violated the "rule against perpetuities." An heir of the donor appealed the case to the state supreme court, which reversed ...

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Posted:
  • September 2, 1991

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