McMorris v. Pagano

In McMorris v. Pagano (1944) 63 Cal. App. 2d 446, the plaintiff (McMorris) brought an action to quiet her title to an easement over a strip of land against the adverse claims of several defendants. (Id. at pp. 448-449.) Two of the defendants (Margaret and Dominic Pagano) "filed an answer denying all of the allegations of McMorris's complaint and then disclaimed any interest in the property." (Id. at p. 452.) The trial court found in favor of McMorris and awarded costs against all defendants. (Id. at p. 449.) On appeal, the Paganoses contended costs should not have been awarded against them because of their disclaimer. (McMorris v. Pagano, supra, 63 Cal. App. 2d at p. 452.) The appellate court observed that McMorris had, "in addition to other allegations, alleged possession of the property," and that the Paganoses had denied all of McMorris's allegations in their answer. (Ibid.) The Court wrote: "In a quiet title action, if defendants wish to avail themselves of the statutory provision relating to disclaimers, to save themselves from costs, they should not have raised the issue on McMorris's possession and other material issues alleged, and put him to his proof." (McMorris, at p. 542.)