MILLER, P. J., BROWN and GOSS, JJ.
MILLER, PRESIDING JUDGE.
Ann Lewis, the plaintiff in this action to collect on a
promissory note, appeals from the trial court's grant of
partial summary judgment to her son, Paul Ikner, based on its
finding that the note failed for want of consideration. We
affirm because we agree with this finding.
Summary judgment is proper when there is no genuine issue of
material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a
matter of law. A de novo standard of review applies to an
appeal from a grant or denial of summary judgment, and we
view the evidence, and all reasonable conclusions and
inferences drawn from it, in the light most favorable to the
(Citation omitted.) L.D.F. Family Farm, Inc. v.
Charterbank, 326 Ga.App. 361, 361 (756 S.E.2d 593)
viewed, the evidence shows that in April 2012, Lewis and her
husband gave Ikner approximately $80, 000 to use as a down
payment on a house, with Lewis personally giving $27, 457.39.
For purposes of the mortgage and taxes, Lewis and her husband
each signed gift letters indicating that they were making a
gift. The gift letters stated that there were no terms or
conditions associated with the gift, and the gift was
"given freely with the understanding that [Ikner] has no
obligation to pay it back either in money, in future services
or otherwise." Ikner also signed the letters. Lewis and
her husband filed gift tax returns with the IRS and paid
taxes on the money given. Lewis also contributed
approximately $6, 600 toward termite repairs around the time
Ikner closed on the house in May 2012.
and Ikner both expected that Lewis and her husband would live
in the house with Ikner following the purchase. Lewis
expected that she would be added to the mortgage and the
deed, but when the mortgage company refused to allow her to
be added to the mortgage, she insisted that her name be added
to the deed after the closing. After the closing, Lewis moved
in with Ikner, but her husband did not, and she and her
husband eventually separated. Due to a clause in the mortgage
documents, Ikner was not able to add Lewis to the deed
without accelerating the debt and making the mortgage due in
December 17, 2013, about 19 months after the closing and 20
months after the gift letters, Ikner signed a promissory note
in which he promised to pay Lewis $100, 000 "payable on
demand." The note stated:
This promissory note is supported by good and valuable
consideration in that my mother, extended to me, sufficient
money, to make a handsome down payment, and certain
alterations to my home place . . . . Additionally,
simultaneously, I have prepared a Last Will and Testament,
which shall make reference to this obligation, and is proof
certain that in the event of my death, prior to the death of
my mother, I have a true obligation to my mother on and above
any obligation to my children, or any other person . . . . As
referenced in the note, Ikner also signed a will leaving
Lewis $100, 000 if the debt remained outstanding upon his
death. Shortly thereafter, Ikner changed the locks on the
doors and did not allow Lewis to return to the house.
2016, Lewis sent Ikner a demand letter, seeking payment on
the note within 30 days as well as the return of her personal
property still in the house. In response to the list of items
Lewis sought, Ikner handwrote the following note:
"I'm working to get the house ready for sale. I
would like to work to get the money as soon as I can. If I
can have a extension on this matter til Sept. 1[, ] 2017 . .
. If I cann't [sic] sale by this time. I will take
whatever loans out to pay what is owed." When Ikner did
not pay Lewis, Lewis filed the underlying suit against him to
collect on the note.
testified in his deposition that the money Lewis gave him for
the down payment and the termite repairs was a gift, and
while he did not believe he had any obligation to repay
Lewis, he signed the note intending she would get money from
the sale of the house from his estate after he died.
testified in her deposition that the money she put toward the
house was an "investment," allowing her to live
with Ikner and be named on the mortgage and the deed, and she
and Ikner "understood" his obligations under this
arrangement or agreement from the time she expended the
money. Lewis claimed that Ikner signed the promissory note
because she and Ikner had "an understanding all
along" that the money she put toward the house belonged
to her. However, as illustrated by the following exchange,
Lewis admitted that she and Ikner never discussed this
understanding and the money was "considered a
Q: . . . Is it your testimony today that
there was, in fact, a term and condition connected to the
gift and that was that [Ikner] put your name on the deed?
A: I'm saying that all the money that
has been transferred to him probably everything that I've
ever given him has been considered a gift. He has never even
mentioned the fact, and neither have I, that he owed me.
Never. I was so concerned that the promissory note was
written because I was afraid I would be out of a house with
him dead and that ...