Nitrini v. Feinbaum

In Nitrini v. Feinbaum, 18 Ariz. App. 307, 501 P.2d 576 (1972), three partners who had equal beneficial interests in a land trust assigned their interests to one of the partners to facilitate a lawsuit. After the lawsuit, that partner returned the property to the trust but the respective individual interests were never reassigned. Thus, the trust showed that partner owning all of the trust's beneficial interest. After he died, the devisee of his will argued that the decedent had owned the entire beneficial interest in the trust. The trial court rejected the argument and imposed a constructive trust. The Court affirmed the trial court, finding that clear and convincing evidence supported the conclusion that the decedent "held the beneficial interest in the land trust as a constructive trustee for himself and his partners. " 18 Ariz. App. at 311, 501 P.2d at 580. The Court pointed out that "there is no set or unyielding formula in decreeing a constructive trust, for the equity of the transaction determines the measure of relief, "and noted that "courts do not hesitate to impose constructive trusts when necessary to obtain complete justice." Id.