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Remedy minimum equity necessary to prevent the

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Remedy: Minimum equity necessary to prevent the detriment ( Waltons ) (This means money). Expectation based (Proprietary Estoppel – There is a prima facie presumption for expectation: Giumelli and Donnis ) – does not have to be property can be $ to the value of the property. Giumelli v Giumelli Facts: The G family owned an farming property in WA under a partnership agreement. Robert G worked on the orchard for 14 years without wages. During that time his parents – on 3 occasions – promised him a parcel of land in return for work without wages. Over the years he built a house on that land. He moved out when he got married, but his parents promised him that they would subdivide the property if he promised to return. The new wife refused to live on the property – so they divorced. He married again, parents did not like the second wife and he was told it was her or the land. He left and sued them. Held: Gleeson, McHugh and Callinan JJ: In prop estoppel the equity was found in an assumption as to the future ownership of the land which had been 9
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induced by representations upon which there had been detrimental reliance by the plaintiff. They held that prima facie appropriate relief would be an equitable fee simple in the parcel. However they said the remedy is discretionary and prior to granting such an interest by imposing a CT the court should consider whether there is an appropriate remedy that falls short. 2 factors mitigates against the fee simple – the other proceedings on foot and Steven and wife were living on that parcel of land and had made improvements to it. The court therefore declined to impose a CT. Instead he got expectation damages to the value of the promised land. Donnis v Donnis Facts: The COA in Vic clarified how a court approaches small detriment suffered in reliance of a large interest in land. Parents purchased a 40 acre property. There were two houses on the property. Parents moved into one and a son moved into another. Steven helped out with the mortgage repayments and then married Susie. Susie wanted to move to the city. To convince her to say Steven said that 20 acres are “ours”. Parents agreed that 20 acres was hers and Steven. Promised that their names would be put onto the title in time. They said that all Susie should worry about is providing them with grandchildren. They renovate the home. Marriage fell apart. Parents in law sent a letter asking her to vacate. She eventually went to live with her parents. 2 years later they sold the property for 4M. Susie sued them. Held: TJ: Susie did not buy a house closer to Melb, spent money on the property, gave up profession to have a child. She was awarded $600 000. COA: Parents argued that $600 000 was too excessive. Nettle J: What is the minimum that can be done to rectify the detriment? But in Giumelli the court does not seem to have been under such a restriction.
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