Wednesday, December 25, 2013

DF Activities Corporation v. Brown case brief

DF Activities Corporation v. Brown case brief summary
851 F.2d 920 (1988)

Plaintiff appealed the order by the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, which granted defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's suit against defendant for breach of contract based upon Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) and the statute of frauds found in § 2-201 of the Uniform Commercial Code.

Plaintiff sued defendant for breach of contract. Plaintiff alleged that defendant had agreed to sell a chair to plaintiff but instead sold it to a third party. Plaintiff sued for the difference between the price at which the chair sold and the contract price. Defendant moved under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6) to dismiss the suit as barred by the statute of frauds in the Uniform Commercial Code § 2-201. Attached to defendant's motion was defendant's affidavit that she had never agreed to sell the chair to plaintiff. The lower court granted defendant's motion and plaintiff appealed. Plaintiff argued that the dismissal was improper since plaintiff had not had an opportunity to depose defendant. The court disagreed.


  • The court found that plaintiff in a suit involving a contract covered by the statute of frauds should not be allowed to resist a motion to dismiss, backed by an affidavit that defendant denied the contract was made, by arguing that his changes of success might improve in discovery. 
  • The court ruled that once defendant denied the contract under oath, the exception to the statute of frauds found in Uniform Commercial Code § 2-201(3)(b) was closed.

The court affirmed the dismissal of plaintiff's suit against defendant since the statute of frauds in the Uniform Commercial Code barred the suit because the contract was oral and over $ 500.00.

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