Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Board of Control of Eastern Michigan University v. Burgess case brief

Board of Control of Eastern Michigan University v. Burgess case brief summary
45 Mich.App. 183, 206 N.W.2d 256 (1973)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff university brought an action against defendant property owner for specific performance of a contract that gave the university the option to purchase the property owner's house. The Washtenaw County Circuit Court (Michigan) entered judgment for the university. The property owner appealed.

CASE FACTS
The contract purported to grant the university a 60-day option to purchase the property owner's house. The university never paid the stated one dollar consideration or any other consideration. Subsequently, the university delivered written notice to the property owner of its intention to exercise the option, but the property owner rejected the university's tender of the purchase price.

DISCUSSION

  • Because the property owner received no consideration for the purported option, the court held that the document was not an enforceable option and that the property owner was not barred from so asserting. 
  • Therefore, the court concluded that the transaction was a simple offer to sell the property. 
  • The court could not resolve the question of whether the property owner effectively revoked her offer to sell before the university accepted the offer because there was conflicting testimony as to when the property owner informed the university that she would not abide by the option agreement. 
  • The court concluded that the trial court did not err in finding that there was no fraud, material mistake, or coercion.
CONCLUSION
The court reversed the judgment and remanded for additional findings of fact.


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