Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cohn v. Fisher case brief

Cohn v. Fisher case brief summary
287 A.2d 222 (1972)

Plaintiff seller filed a motion for summary judgment against defendant buyer in plaintiff's action alleging breach of contract.

Plaintiff advertised his boat and received an inquiry from defendant. Defendant contacted plaintiff and made an offer for the boat, which plaintiff accepted. The next day defendant gave plaintiff a check for one-half of the total price with the note "deposit on aux. Sloop, D'Arc Wind, full amount $ 4,650." Defendant notified plaintiff he could not consummate the deal because a boat survey would not be completed. Plaintiff asserted he would hold him to the agreement. Defendant stopped payment on the check. Plaintiff sold the boat and sued for breach.


  • The court granted plaintiff's motion for summary judgment. 
  • Defendant's admission in deposition that he did not condition sale on a survey eliminated any doubt as to existence of any genuine issue of material fact. 
  • As to the formality of memorialization, N.J. Stat. Ann. § 12A:2-201 required contract for sale of goods over $ 500, to be enforceable, had to comply with the statute of frauds. 
  • The check constituted a memorandum of the agreement. 
  • The check together with defendant's admissions constituted an enforceable contract, and partial payment for goods satisfied the statute.

The court granted summary judgment to plaintiff.

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