RIKKA I. PULLIAM, APPELLANT
SHERRY P. MURPHY, R. CARTER PULLIAM, AND RICHARD PULLIAM, AS COTRUSTEES OF THE RAY H. PULLIAM LIVING TRUST, APPELLEES
FROM THE CRITTENDEN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. NO. CV-14-116.
HONORABLE VICTOR L. HILL, JUDGE.
Appellant: BYRON WADE BOWEN.
Appellee: THOMAS FRANKLIN DONALDSON, MICHAEL D SNELL.
VIRDEN, Judge. GLADWIN, C.J., agrees. GRUBER, J., concurs.
F. VIRDEN, Judge
Rikka I. Pulliam filed a complaint against appellees Sherry
P. Murphy, R. Carter Pulliam, and Richard Pulliam, as
cotrustees of the Ray H. Pulliam Living Trust, alleging
breach of the trust agreement. The Crittenden County Circuit
Court granted summary judgment to appellees. On appeal, Rikka
argues that appellees owed a duty of loyalty to her in
their administration of the trust and that genuine issues of
material fact exist as to whether they breached that duty. We
reverse and remand for trial.
Background and Procedural History
1997, Ray H. Pulliam and Ione O. Pulliam created a living
trust involving 1,320 acres of farmland for the benefit of
their five adult children. After the Pulliams had passed
away, four of those children, including Rikka, became
cotrustees. Article Seventeen, section five of the trust
Special Instructions Regarding the Farm. During my life, my
spouse and I have owned tracts of land which we have referred
to among ourselves and our family as " the farm."
The farm is the real property to be administered under
Article Eleven of this agreement upon the death of both my
spouse and I. One and a half acres of the farm was sold to
our son, R. Carter Pulliam, for consideration of $7,500
($5,000 per acre) during my lifetime. My Trustee shall
offer to any of my other children the same privilege to
purchase one and a half acre of land at the same
consideration. The consideration need not be actual cash
but may also be improvements or work on the farm, for
example, but any construction must be farm related. In other
words, the construction cannot be a garbage dump, gravel
storage or beer parlor, etc.
addition to owning the tract of land referenced in the trust
agreement, Carter, along with Richard, leased trust property
that they farmed. In November 2013, Rikka's lawyer
notified appellees of Rikka's request to buy a
oneand-a-half-acre tract along Highway 79 located just north
of Carter's one-and-a-half acres. Carter objected to
selling Rikka that particular tract because the area was used
for parking farm equipment and provided access for commercial
trucks to reach the granary silos on his property. Sherry had
initially agreed to sell Rikka the tract of land but soon
after rescinded her consent to the sale after speaking with
Carter, citing the land's " current use in
farming" as her reason for ...